A Lloyds bank branch in London, Britain, 28 January 2016. British Chancellor George Osborne has said that he plans to postpone the sale of Lloyds Banking Group shares, putting back the sale of the last public owned bank due to “market turbulence”. EPA/ANDY RAIN

LONDON – Lloyds Banking Group Plc said it would axe about 1,585 jobs and close 29 branches as part of sweeping cuts it announced more than a year ago, aimed at reducing Europe’s second-biggest lender’s workforce by 9,000.

Wednesday’s announcement brings the total cuts announced so far to 5,530 since Lloyds’ announced in October 2014 that it would cut about 10 percent of its staff over three years due to the increasing popularity of online banking and the automation of some back office functions.

The bulk of the reductions are across Lloyds’ retail businesses, although the group’s commercial banking, consumer finance and legal units will also see cuts, said a spokesman at employee trade union Unite, which has been consulted.

The lender, which is closing branches from this June, said it would create about 170 new roles across its retail, commercial banking and legal divisions.

Shares in Lloyds were trading around two percent lower at 15.20 GMT, outperforming a weaker broader market for European banking stocks.

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