Today, Lloyds Banking Group announced that it is set to close another 15 of its branches as the steady whittling down of the network of the British bank continues. It comes only a month after António Horta-Osório, its chief executive officer, committed to maintaining the biggest branch network of the United Kingdom.
Lloyds Bank is considered as the biggest retail bank in the United Kingdom. It said that because of the closures that are scheduled to take place between the period of January and March 2019, 23 jobs will be at risk. The bank is aiming for none of the job losses to be carried out through compulsory redundancies, with relocations to other branches on offer.
Lloyds said that the closures of the branches come amid “changing customer behaviour and the reduced number of transactions being made in branches.”
After the half-year results of the bank last August – when Lloyds announced an almost a quarter increase in profits to £3.1 billion – Horta-Osório made a surprise pledge to keep its branch network at a market share of 21pc.
Currently, the retail banking landscape is undergoing a seismic change, with the customers increasingly making use of mobile apps and the internet in order to carry out simple transactions, leaving the lenders with huge, costly branch networks.
With a £3 billion digital investment programme that was announced this year, Lloyds is reorienting its priorities. However, it announced 49 branch closures last April.
In a statement that was released by a spokesperson for Lloyds Bank, he stated: “We have confirmed the locations of a small number of Lloyds Bank branches which will close between January and March 2019.”
The spokesperson added: “All branches announced for closure have a Post Office less than half a mile away so customers can still access their banking locally.”
He continued: “We continue to make a significant investment in our branches and we are proud to have the largest network of branches in the UK.”