'Micro' outlets plan
Lloyds to axe counters in hundreds of branches
Lloyds Bank is to turn hundreds of its branches into “micro” outlets staffed by one or two advisers and with no counters.
They will include Bank of Scotland and Halifax branches where customers will be given help to use machines, including self-service devices
Lloyds said there had been “a profound change in customer behaviour”, which has seen more transactions move online.
It is already closing 400 of its branches around the UK, with 9,000 job losses.
The micro branch will use as little as 1,000 square feet of space with some counters boarded up and replaced by staff with tablet computers or video links for customers to speak to an adviser.
Jakob Pfaudler, Lloyds’ chief operating officer for retail, said: “We have a lot of branches that used to have a lot of footfall, and therefore feel quite empty and intimidating for customers.
“So when there’s too much space we may board up places in existing branches.”
Other banks have already made similar changes.
Lloyds will open up to 20 larger banking centres to provide a full range of facilities, including sections for business banking.
The first will open in Manchester this year, followed by a flagship Halifax branch in central London.
By the end of this year Lloyds will have 1,950 branches around the UK, meaning it will still have the largest network of any High Street bank.
The Treasury has sold more shares in Lloyds, according to a notice issued this morning. It now holds 1.97% of the stock.