British bank Lloyds says it will cut 420 more jobs

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Britain's state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group, which last week appointed a new chief executive, said on Tuesday that it planned to cut 420 jobs on top of thousands announced since last year.

"Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) is today announcing a number of organisational changes" to the group's Wholesale banking division, it said in a statement.

"Following relocation, redeployment and the creation of new roles, the total number of role reductions across the group will be 420."

A spokeswoman for the bank added that LBG had cut "around 22,500" roles since last year, while it currently employs about 100,000 staff.

Britain's biggest union, Unite, said it was "appalled" at the thousands of job losses across the bank that is 41-percent government owned after a massive bailout.

"Today over 400 (more) people face the reality of a future without employment as Lloyds Banking Group continues to throw increasing numbers of staff on to the scrap heap," senior union official Cath Speight added in a statement.

Only last month, LBG announced plans to axe 4,500 jobs, including 1,750 posts abroad.

LBG last week unveiled Antonio Horta-Osorio, head of Spanish-owned rival Santander UK, to succeed Eric Daniels as group chief executive.

Daniels had faced criticism after overseeing the 2008 government-brokered takeover of former rival Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS), which was saddled with high-risk investments in the property sector.

"Unite is calling on the new CEO, Antonio Horta-Osorio, to make a firm commitment to all colleagues that his first priority will be job security when he joins the company in early 2011," Speight added on Tuesday.

LBG suffered huge losses in 2008 and 2009, as bad debts rocketed in the wake of the HBOS rescue and a deep recession. However, it bounced back into profit in the first half of 2010, as bad debts fell sharply.

The share price of LBG was up 2.34 percent at 68.97 pence in late trading on London's benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was also rising.

© 2010 AFP

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