British bank Lloyds says it is cutting 650 jobs

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    Britain’s state-controlled Lloyds Banking Group said Wednesday it was cutting another 650 jobs as the company continues to streamline its operations.

    “Significant progress has been made in mitigating the total number of potential job losses through relocation, redeployment and the release of contractors and temporary staff,” Lloyds said in a statement. “As a result … there will be a total net reduction of 650 permanent full time Lloyds Banking Group jobs.” The bank added: “The gross number of jobs impacted before taking into account the group’s mitigating actions would have been approximately 1,850.”

    LBG is 41.3-percent owned by the government after an enormous state bailout at the height of the global financial crisis. Lloyds has now axed a total of 15,650 jobs, including 11,500 positions that were cut in 2009, according to a company spokesman. The latest job cuts will fall in LBG’s insurance division, group operations and adminstration for its retail banking division. The job losses will affect staff based in Nottingham, central England, and Chester in the northwest.

    Lloyds added that it would close 265 Halifax-branded counters that are based at solicitors and estate agent branches, in a move expected to spark further job losses, but the workers are not directly employed by Lloyds. Unite, Britain’s biggest trade union, reacted with fury to the latest round of cuts. “For the staff at Lloyds today marks the start of another long summer of worry as they now face uncertainty about the security of their job,” said Unite national officer Cath Speight.

    “This taxpayer-owned financial institution needs to focus on retaining the hardworking staff who have ensured the highest levels of service to it’s customers over the past 18 difficult months, not dumping them on the scrap heap.”

    London, United Kingdom, June 30, 2010 (AFP)