The C&G branches may now get a reprieve
Lloyds Banking Group is to review its decision to close its Cheltenham & Gloucester (C&G) subsidiary.
The firm had announced in June that all 164 C&G branches across the UK would close with the loss of 833 jobs, but that decision may now be reversed.
A Lloyds spokeswoman said that in the meantime, the branches would not close in November as planned.
The Unite union said it welcomed the announcement, but was angry at the "poor management" at Lloyds.
"Unite is satisfied that the Lloyds Banking Group has finally acknowledged that the decision to close the Cheltenham and Gloucester branch network was ill-considered," said the union's national officer Rob MacGregor.
However, he added that "today's announcement comes with no warning and will make the workforce wonder whether their bosses have any long-term strategy for the future of the bank".
Unite said it was now calling for an urgent meeting with Lloyds "in order to get clarification as to the format and timescales of the review".
Lloyds said in a brief statement that "customers will continue to use the C&G network as usual".
"All affected colleagues have been briefed by their line manager today," it added.
Since October of last year, the government has a 43% stake in Lloyds, which bought C&G in 1997.
Its June announcement that it would close the C&G network came amid an overhaul of Lloyds' loan and mortgage arms.
The most recent data available showed that Lloyds - through C&G - had an 8.4% share of the UK mortgage market by the end of 2007.
Lloyds' decision to review the closure of C&G comes as Spanish bank Santander continues to rebrand its three main UK businesses - Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley - in its name.