IT job fears as more banks slash staff

Lloyds Banking Groupand insurer RSA have both announced job cuts that total 1,500 UK jobs, leaving IT and operational staff in both companies concerned for their future.

Neither company revealed which roles would be impacted but it is understood IT and operational staff, in the relevant affected divisions face cuts.

Lloyds Banking Group, which was formed out of the merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS and is 65 percent government-owned, will cut 985 jobs over the next two years as it closes a car finance business.

The company is cutting 200 jobs in Merseyside and 340 in Chester, after deciding the operation was “no longer financially viable”.

A spokesperson at the company told Computerworld UK it was “inevitable” that IT and back office jobs would be affected. But he declined to say how many were involved.

The cuts are part of a review that took place within HBOS last year. But following the merger with HBOS, Lloyds Group has announced plans to cut £1.5 billion from overhead costs over the next three years. Media reports have suggested thousands of job cuts will take place, with cost savings coming from streamlining IT support and mortgage processing.

On the same day, insurer RSA – formerly known as Royal Sun Alliance – said it would close a site in Bristol, with the loss of 500 jobs.

The cuts will be made by 2010, and are part of a £70 million cost cutting plan.

Trade union Unite said the job cuts would create uncertainty for employees at both Lloyds and RSA.

“For the 985 people in LBG to learn that they are to lose their jobs will cause uncertainty for staff across the company. Unite the union is calling for LBG to ensure that the integration programme concentrates on saving jobs and preventing redundancies,” said Rob MacGregor, national officer at Unite.

Speaking separately on the RSA job losses, he said he was “appalled" that 500 staff face redundancy "while the local job market is so fragile”.

The news follows a spate of job cuts at other large financial institutions in recent times. Last week, investment bank UBS announced 8,700 job cuts across all operations. A fortnight ago, Royal Bank of Scotland said it was cutting 9,000 back office jobs, and in March HSBC said 1,200 back office staff would be made redundant.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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