British bank Lloyds says will axe more jobs

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Britain's partly-nationalised Lloyds bank said Thursday that it will axe another 570 jobs in Britain and outsource 450 positions as the lender continues a major restructuring.

"Lloyds Banking Group (BLG) is today announcing 570 role reductions within its wholesale, retail, insurance, group operations and human resources divisions as part of the ongoing integration programme," said a statement.

"Separately ... the group has decided to outsource further cheque and credit processing services to its existing third-party provider iPSL.

"This will involve 450 roles transferring to iPSL later this year. There will be no job losses as a result of this transfer."

LBG, which is 41-percent state-owned after a huge bailout at the height of the global financial crisis, has now axed 26,770 jobs since January 2009.

The announcement comes about two weeks after LBG revealed 2010 pre-tax earnings of £2.2 billion (2.6 billion euros, $3.6 billion), which was its first annual profit since the takeover of former rival HBOS in 2008.

Trade union Unite reacted angrily to the latest round of deep job cuts at the state-rescued lender.

"The news that Lloyds Banking Group is to cut a further 570 jobs and outsource (more) jobs will be met with despair by the bank's staff," said Unite national officer David Fleming in a separate statement.

"Just two weeks ago this taxpayer-supported organisation announced profits of £2.2 billion.

"Yet this decision represents a total failure by Lloyds to recognise that this turn around is the outcome of the work of their staff."

Thursday's announcement marked the first round of job cuts under the tenure of new chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio, who took over the reins from Eric Daniels at the start of March.

Portuguese national Horta-Osorio was poached by LBG from his previous job as head of Santander UK.

Daniels had faced fierce criticism after overseeing the takeover of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS), which was saddled with high-risk property investments.

Lloyds suffered huge losses in 2008 and 2009, as bad debts rocketed in the wake of the HBOS rescue and a deep recession.

© 2011 AFP

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