Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) is set to close a further 100 branches, a trade union has warned. The move, which is expected to result in 200 jobs losses, comes after the lender signalled this week that it is planning to shrink hundreds of its branches in size.
Lloyds’ share price has climbed into positive territory in today’s session, having added 0.22 percent to 65.65p as of 12:48 BST, largely in line with gains in the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.15 percent higher at 7,332.89 points. The group’s shares have lost just under two percent of their value over the past year, but have recovered some five percent in the year-to-date.
Trade union Unite announced in a statement today that Lloyds was set to close a further 100 branches, including 54 LBG branches, 22 Halifax and 24 Bank of Scotland branches. The move is expected to result in 200 job losses.
“Unite is angered that another 200 staff have today been told that their job will be cut due to their branch shutting,” the union’s national officer Rob MacGregor commented in the statement, adding that Lloyds’ rationale for the closures was “the claimed customer preference towards the use of technology across banking”. City A.M. noted in its coverage of the news that the latest closures were part of a previous announcement.
Earlier this week, news emerged that Lloyds was set to convert hundreds of its branches to ‘micro branches’ which will be staffed by just two people, helping customers to use machines, including pay-in devices. The lender attributed the move to “a profound change in customer behaviour,” which has seen more transactions move online.
In analyst news, Goldman Sachs, which is bearish on Lloyds with a sell rating, set a price target of 60p on the stock yesterday. According to MarketBeat, the bailed-out lender currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average valuation of 70.70p.