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Lloyds Banking group is reducing its UK IT workforce by around 80 people, with half of these moving to India as part of a cull of more than 600 jobs at the bank.
The bank said it also created 195 jobs and the net job loss was 430.
But the move to offshore IT jobs to cut costs was labelled alarming by John Morgan-Evans, regional officer at union Unite. “This simply means that the bank wants to pay an IT worker in India less for the same work carried out in the UK. This disastrous race to the bottom hurts our members and inevitably affects customers.”
Lloyds Bank already has thousands of IT staff in India. The cuts are part of cost cutting announced in 2014 as part of a three-year plan, in which the bank said it would cut 9,000 jobs and close around 150 branches to focus more on its digital strategy and increase automated processes.
“Unite has made it clear that ‘efficiency’ cannot simply mean axing more jobs while expecting the same work to fall on fewer shoulders. The bank forgets that these relentless cuts have a human cost,” said Morgan-Evans.
“Unpaid overtime and work-related stress are already at endemic levels across the bank, and this will reach a crisis point if Lloyds continues to swing the axe,” he added.
The bank said it will close 21 branches in July 2016 as part of its announcement of 200 closures over 3 years, but it has said branches remain important to it.
“Branches will continue to play an important role in our multi-channel approach to meeting customer needs, and we expect to continue to have the biggest branch network in the UK,” said a Lloyds Banking Group statement.
The bank is not alone in extending its offshore IT workforce. In March 2016, business advisory KPMG moved more of its UK IT team to India through an expanded agreement with Indian IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).