Union: End offshoring to save UK Lloyds TSB and HBOS jobs

Leading banking union calls for the merging banks to axe overseas processing and IT jobs ahead of UK redundancies.

Lloyds TSB

Lloyds TSB has today announced that it is looking to achieve cost savings of over 1.5 billion by 2011 from its merger with struggling rival HBOS, raising concerns over the number of jobs that will be axed from both banks.

Although neither bank has issued any figure on expected redundancies and natural headcount reduction at this stage, analysts are putting the figure at 20,000-25,000 from a total staff of 140,000.

Banking union Lloyds TSB Group Union (LTU), which represents over 40,000 staff at the bank, has called on management to commit to safeguarding UK jobs by focusing on reducing its use of offshore IT and data processing staff ahead of any redundancies at home.

The call comes six weeks after the union expressed concern over the safety of UK-based jobs at the bank following the announcement of its plans to merge with HBOS, and the intention of both banks to take significant government financing.

"We are concerned by the substantial increase in cost savings that the new 'Super Bank' would expect to achieve in just three years and believe it is essential that the bank commits to important measures to minimise the scale of compulsory redundancies," said Steve Tatlow, assistant general secretary at LTU.

"The quid pro quo for the support the government is giving to the creation of a 'Super Bank' should be that the bank's top management abandons its 'Jobs To India' policy in order to safeguard the jobs of those very UK tax payers from whom it has sought financial support."

LTU has supported the planned merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS on the basis that it is preferable to the collapse of HBOS and thus an even high number of job losses. However, this union support comes with conditions, chief among which is a commitment from both banks to reduce current offshore use and to axe plans to offshore even more jobs.

In May of this year Lloyds TSB announced plans to offshore a further 450 IT roles from its Information Technology Division, where it employs a totol of 2,400 staff at locations in London, Wythenshawe near Manchester, Gloucester, Birmingham and Bristol.

The union is also calling for plans to reduce redundancy terms at the end of 2008 to be scrapped, as well as offering to work with the banks to structure an agreed plan for reducing staff numbers.

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