Lloyds Banking, Virgin Money, And Direct Line To Slash Hundreds Of Jobs

March 5, 2020

Top UK banks Lloyds, and Virgin Money, and major insurance giant Direct Line all announced cuts to hundreds of jobs in the last week of February, creating further fears of a downturn in the UK economy.

More About These Job Losses

The Lloyds Group said it will cut 780 full-time jobs or their equivalents in UK branches throughout the year, while Virgin Money has announced it will close 52 of its branches, resulting in the loss of 500 jobs.

Popular insurer, Direct Line, is also in the process of advising all staff about future job losses from 2021 to 2022, which will mean 800 full-time posts are cut at a variety of Direct Line sites.

The insurer plans to close one of its regional offices altogether and blames the cuts on the change to customer behaviour which has entailed greater use of online services.

What Is The Problem At The Two Banks?

Lloyds had already announced in February that pre-tax profits had dropped by 26% down to £4.4bn, much of which related to the PPI compensation it paid out. The bank had already announced branches would be closed, so this latest statement about job losses is not particularly unexpected.

The majority of the jobs to be cut are consultants, branch managers and customer advisers.

A spokesperson for Lloyds said, “As customers are using our branches less often, we are reducing the number of roles across our branch network. This means we can shape our service according to customer behaviour and local demand.

Change does mean difficult decisions and we are focused on supporting our colleagues at this time.”

The Lloyds Banking Group incorporates Bank of Scotland and Halifax, alongside Lloyds Bank, and is the biggest provider of credit cards in the UK at this moment.

Virgin Money also attributed branch closures to the increase in consumers shifting to more digital banking services. A spokesperson said that about 215 jobs will be lost due to branch closures, and the remainder will be from offices in the North East, Leeds, and Scotland.

The Virgin spokesperson added: “As our customers change the way they want to bank with us, we are evolving the role of our stores – investing in all of the ways that customers are choosing to bank with us.”

The Virgin Money brand was recently taken over by CYBG banking, which also owns Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank.