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Cuts in finance sector

Lloyds, Virgin Money and Direct Line axe jobs

Virgin Money is cutting branches (pic: Terry Murden)

Lloyds Banking Group, Virgin Money and Direct Line delivered a triple jobs blow with announcements of big cutbacks.

Lloyds will axe the equivalent of 780 full-time jobs this year across its branch network, which includes Bank of Scotland and Halifax.

Among the roles to go are customer advisers, banking consultants and branch managers.

The bank, which announced branch closures earlier this year, said the latest job cuts would not mean more sites being closed.

“As customers are using our branches less often, we are reducing the number of roles across our branch network,” a spokeswoman said.

Virgin Money, the new brand name for Clydesdale Bank owner CYBG, also blamed customers’ shifting tastes for job losses and branch closures.

It will cut 215 jobs through the closure of 52 branches and about 300 from offices in Scotland, Leeds and North East England.

Lucy Dimes, group business transformation officer at Virgin Money UK, said: “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.”

Direct Line is telling staff about plans for 800 job losses across various sites between 2021 and 2022.

One of its regional offices will close, but the location has yet to be revealed. It has numerous sites, including its headquarters in Bromley, as well as Doncaster, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Ipswich.

Some better news came from supermarket chain Morrisons which is offering interviews to the 1,800 bakers at risk of losing their jobs at rival Tesco.

While Tesco is cutting back on bread, Morrisons said it wants to increase the number of experienced bread makers in its stores.

Bakers love their job and we want to offer them the opportunity to carry on doing it

– Jayne Wall, Morrisons

Adverts have already been launched for bakery roles and the firm wants to increase food-making jobs in stores by 1,400 over the coming months.

Jayne Wall, a director at Morrisons, said: “We know that bakers love their job and we want to offer them the opportunity to carry on doing it at Morrisons.”

Tesco said it will convert 58 of its bakeries to be able to finish off pre-baked products in-store, leaving just 201 sites ‘baking from scratch’.

It said the move will result in fewer staff members required across much of its network.

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