Bank chief tries to calm jitters over Scotland job losses

 

Lloyds TSB yesterday moved to dampen speculation that its £12 billion takeover of Scotland’s oldest bank will lead to thousands of job losses in Scotland.

Susan Rice, the chief executive of Lloyds TSB Scotland, denied that the move, which will create a £30billion banking giant, would necessarily lead to thousands of jobs being shed. She admitted that it will be months before staff learn how many posts will go as a result of the deal to rescue HBOS from collapse.

Ms Rice said: “Everyone needs to keep in mind that the vast majority of staff in any bank are customer-facing. If we bring two banks together … we still need all those staff to deal with our customers.”

The two banks employ 24,200 people in Scotland and the takeover has prompted fears of bank branch closures. Ms Rice pointed out that it would take three months for the takeover deal to be finalised and two to three years for integration. “Over that period of time, staff leave, staff retire, various things happen,” she said.

Alex Salmond, the First Minister, is due to meet senior management from Lloyds TSB next week in an attempt to win assurances over jobs as well as the retention of the Bank of Scotland name and a significant presence in the Scottish capital.

Ms Rice yesterday gave a strong indication that the name of Scotland’s oldest bank would not be lost as a result of the takeover: “I am absolutely sympathetic to the word Scotland,” she said. “I believe that we will have head office functions happening here, the group’s AGM will continue to take place here. The Mound will be kept open, we have had a lot of decision-making here.”

Mr Salmond said that significant questions remained about the plans. “One is the extent of the rationalisation that will take place as a result of the overlapping branch structures,” he said. “And second, the degree of decision-making and autonomy and group operations, genuine head office operations, that will continue in Scotland.”

 

From 
September 19, 2008
Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in theEmployee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com
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