Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Thursday, 23 April 2009 15:16 UK

Bank group Lloyds axes 985 staff

Lloyds TSB branch
Lloyds Banking Group employs 140,000 people

Lloyds Banking Group is to cut 985 jobs over the next two years, the company has confirmed.

The jobs will go at a business offering car finance, which a review found was "no longer financially viable".

The banking group, which is 43% owned by the government, said 200 jobs in Speke, Merseyside, could be affected, along with 340 jobs in Chester.

The union Unite said it was in talks with Lloyds and would oppose any compulsory redundancies.

Lloyds said it hopes as many jobs as possible will go by natural turnover.

Compulsory redundancies would be a "last resort", it said.

Months of talks

"The decision follows a detailed review carried out last year by Bank of Scotland," said Lloyds' David Oldfield.

Unite said the announcement came after months of discussion within Lloyds after the acquisition of HBOS in September.

"For some months now, the employees of the company have had to live with almost daily speculation about the security of their jobs and the long-term plans for the company," Unite official Rob MacGregor.

"Today the workforce must face the horrendous reality that integration will mean that some will lose their jobs."

Lloyds Banking Group was formed from the merger of Halifax Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB late last year.

These are the first major job cuts resulting from that merger, which created a banking giant employing 140,000 people. Unions fear there will be more.

The affected company, Bank of Scotland Dealer Finance, will not give out any new loans after September, Lloyds said, but it will continue to serve existing customers through its Black Horse Motor Finance brand.

The announcement came as insurer Royal Sun Alliance announced it was closing a site in Bristol with the loss of 500 jobs.

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