Job axe falls again at ABN Amro, Lloyds

ANOTHER slew of redundancies swept the banking world yesterday as Lloyds Banking Group announced 625 new job losses and Dutch bank ABN Amro revealed plans to axe up to 6,500 workers as part of its integration with Fortis Bank Nederland.<br /><br />ABN Amro said between 5,500 and 6,500 would be cut, though the net impact of this would be reduced by creating a further 1,500 new jobs.<br /><br />The Dutch government, which bought the floundering Fortis last October and replaced it as ABN Amro&rsquo;s main shareholder in December, said the redundancies would save the merged company between &euro;1bn and&nbsp;&euro;1.3bn (&pound;0.88bn &ndash; &pound;1.14bn). It plans ultimately to combine Fortis with ABN Amro and sell the combined entity back to the public.<br /><br />Lloyds, which has already chopped 2,500 jobs so far this year, also said it would create 300 jobs in commercial banking and specialist finance, the divisions where it will make the 625 redundancies.<br /><br />But the news failed to placate Unite, Britain&rsquo;s largest union, which launched a furious broadside at the group, dubbing the drip-feed of redundancy notices &ldquo;death by a thousand cuts&rdquo;.<br /><br />National officer Rob MacGregor called on Lloyds to make its policy on staff reduction clear, saying: &ldquo;The union will not accept a situation where Lloyds makes weekly announcements of hundreds of job losses.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;Staff must be told the company&rsquo;s plans for the future of the organisation and not be left with the uncertainty that they could be the next to lose their jobs,&rdquo; he added.<br /><br />He demanded that the bank meet with union representatives to discuss the future of the bank&rsquo;s workforce and reiterated the union&rsquo;s opposition to any compulsory job losses.<br /><br />The cuts came as Lloyds altered the make-up of its wholesale banking division, bringing all commercial banking operations under one umbrella, with a separate acquisition finance business.