We are not in the business of enjoying someone else’s misfortune but now we’ve dealt with the ‘Inclusive Language’ nonsense, we can get back to the real bread and butter issues that matter to members and customers.

At a recent roundtable session for analysts, Mr Charlie Nunn, Group Chief Executive and Mr William Chalmers, Group Finance Officer said they were expecting to spend an additional £100 million on severance costs in 2024 over and above what they had factored into budgets when they set out the strategy a few years ago. The IT announcement on job losses, for example, was part of the Bank’s original plan. What Mr Nunn and Mr Chalmers were crowing about with the likes of Morgan Stanley, Jefferies, Bank of American, KBW, Deutsche Numis, Autonomous and Barclays was that they could cut even more jobs than they originally planned.

Mr Chalmers said:

“So, I would not put a precise number on severance, but that is the principal driver between £9.2 through to £9.3, it is increased severance above and beyond our regular severance budgets.”

Mr Nunn said:

“We should expect an ongoing baseline severance as you say, why an increase this year? Which is kind of your question. I think it is because as we have got into the strategy, we have seen additional opportunities for efficiency and to provide reinvestment into areas that are going to drive the growth. So, it is really a demonstration of our confidence around what we are doing.”

Mr Chalmers also said:

“Alongside all of that, I hope people will acknowledge, we try to keep a very tight grip on costs. Now, as you have seen today, we have upped our cost guidance from £9.2 to £9.3, but that is in the interests of securing some severance benefits.”

We don’t want to focus on language again, but making people redundant is only a “benefit” to Lloyds and it won’t necessarily produce a better bank; it’s certainly not a benefit to most members of staff losing their jobs. And making UK jobs redundant only to replace them with jobs in India or elsewhere is definitely not going to contribute to “Helping Britain Prosper now and for the future”.

Lloyds can’t argue that it doesn’t know where the axe is going to fall, it knows exactly where the “additional opportunities” are, so it should come clean and say so. Lloyds needs to be more open and transparent with staff. Those working in the areas where “efficiency opportunities” have been identified should be told now so they can plan accordingly. If that means seeking new training opportunities, then they can do so now knowing that their jobs may be ‘at risk’ of redundancy at some point in the future. Telling staff just before their jobs disappear is simply unfair.

We will be returning to this issue in future Newsletters. In the meantime, members with any questions on this Newsletter should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 262868 (choose Option 1).


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