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Union anger over further redundancies at Lloyds Bank

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Lloyds Banking Group has incurred union anger over plans to cut 850 jobs and close an office in Southend, Essex.

Over 600 jobs will be lost through compulsory redundancies when the Southend centre closes, with the remainder of losses affecting the commercial and insurance operations. 

This latest wave of job cuts follows a reduction of 940 jobs in January and 550 jobs in March. 

Unions have accused the bailed-out bank of undermining the economy and changing its tack on redundancies. 

Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: "Lloyds is celebrating a return to profit and there are hints of dividend payouts to shareholders but the bank's workers are in constant fear that they will be next for the chop.

"This is no way to treat staff. It's time to urgently review this continuous tide of cuts and build the bank's strength.”

He added: "The constant job cuts across the banking industry is bad for bank staff, does nothing to support customers and is bad for Britain's economy.”

Officials at the Lloyds Trade Union (LTU) claimed the compulsory redundancies at Southend were a change in approach for the bank. It is planning a campaign to oppose the closure.

Steve Tatlow, assistant general secretary at the independent LTU, said: "There's a change in attitude … towards redundancies."

Lloyds said while jobs are being cut, 275 new roles are being created. 

It said in a statement: “The group’s policy is always to use natural turnover and to redeploy people wherever possible to retain their expertise and knowledge within the group.”

It added: “Where it is necessary for employees to leave the company, it will look to achieve this by offering voluntary redundancy. Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort.”