Equities By Region Finance and Banking UK

Lloyds share price: Lender set to axe 15 branches

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Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) is to close a further 15 branches between January and March next year, Reuters has reported. The news comes after the bailed-out lender moved to axe 380 jobs last week.

Lloyds’ share price has been steady in today’s session, having added 0.42 percent to 59.13p as of 09:42 BST. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped marginally into the red and currently standing 0.17 percent lower at 7,301.18 points.

Bailed-out lender trims branches

Reuters quoted a Lloyds’ spokeswoman as saying yesterday that Lloyds was to close 15 branches.

“All branches announced for closure will have a Post Office less than half-a-mile away, so customers can still access their banking locally,” the spokeswoman explained in a statement. The newswire also quoted trade union Accord as noting that while up to 23 jobs will be lost as a result of the cuts, it expects that this could be managed without compulsory redundancy, in the same way as the bank’s previous branch closures.

Lloyds’ move comes as lenders look to adapt to change in consumer habits marked by the growing use of  mobile and digital banking. Last week, it emerged that bailed-out peer Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) was closing a further 54 branches in England and Wales, as a result of the collapse of plans to float off its challenger bank under the name Williams & Glyn.

Goldman Sachs bearish on group

In a separate development, Goldman Sachs reaffirmed the bailed-out lender as a ‘sell’ yesterday. Proactive Investors quoted the analysts as arguing that with its large mortgage book, Lloyds was the most exposed of all to the “impact of intense competition”.

As of 10:00 BST, Thursday, 13 September, Lloyds Banking Group share price is 59.25p.

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