Banking bleakness: This is how people reacted to 3,000 further job losses at Lloyds Banking Group

 
Hayley Kirton
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Lloyds Bank Confirms Job Losses And Branches Closures
"Grim news" said the unions, "part and parcel of the technological revolution" said the analysts (Source: Getty)

In its half-year results this morning, Lloyds Banking Group revealed it would be shedding a further 3,000 jobs by 2017.

Persistently low interest rates are proving a problem for the banking sector, and the situation could be about to get even worse: many are predicting the Bank of England will choose to cut rates further in August.

On top of this, uncertainty both before and after the Brexit vote has created a very turbulent business environment and customers are spending less time in brick-and-mortar branches and more time online.

Read more: More than half of UK SMEs say banks are not "business friendly"

"Lloyds has set out its stall as a multi-channel bank, but the reality is that demand for banking services is moving online, and so banks must follow where there customers lead, and ultimately that doesn’t bode well for high street branches," said Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. "Hence the closure of more high street branches and job losses is part and parcel of the technological revolution that is affecting many industries."

Michael Hewson at CMC Markets added: "As far as UK banks are concerned as they look ahead to the end of the first half of the year there is little optimism that they can repeat the performance of their US counterparts, particularly since the share prices of all of them have fallen sharply in the wake of the June referendum vote with Lloyds Banking Group being hit particularly hard as a result of its more domestic focus."

Read more: Six UK banks downgraded by S&P over Brexit concerns

But David Buik, market commentator at Panmure Gordon, contested that the job cuts had little to do with the referendum results.

"It’s called FINTECH," he wrote in a note. "HSBC is in the process of making 30k redundancies in the last few years and going forward. Barclays are making about 5k redundancies, why should Lloyds Banking Group be any different?"

But knowing the above is likely to come as little comfort to those whose jobs are now on the line. Today's job cuts are in addition to 9,000 role reductions which had previously been announced.

"This grim news of yet more job losses and branch closures will send a shiver down the spine of Lloyds employees, who have worked hard to make the bank a success and deliver excellent customer service against a backdrop of continual uncertainty," said Unite national officer Rob MacGregor.

Read more: The four things which could tip the scales in favour of fintech over banks

Antonio Horta-Osorio, Lloyds' group chief executive, said in a statement issued alongside the half-year results:

Following the EU referendum the outlook for the UK economy is uncertain and, while the precise impact is dependent upon a number of factors including EU negotiations and political and economic events, a deceleration of growth seems likely. The UK, however, enters this period of uncertainty from a position of strength, following continued private sector deleveraging, significantly improved mortgage affordability and low levels of unemployment.

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