Lloyds TSB’s announcement today that it intends to make annual savings of £1.5 billion through its merger with HBOS has sparked an angry reaction from trade unions, fearful of large-scale redundancies.
The latest estimate of cost efficiencies is £500,000 above an earlier £1 billion target and analysts are predicting that up to 30,000 jobs could go through the closure of branches, call centres and the integration of IT systems.
According to a report in The Times, Lloyds TSB will make £790 million in savings from cuts in the merged banks’ retail operations and a further £235 million by folding together their insurance and investment businesses.
Costs in wholesale and international banking will be shaved by £430 million.
Shareholders of both banks have yet to vote on the deal and the possibility of a counter bid emerged this weekend, from an unnamed international financial firm.
However, both HBOS and Lloyds TSB are confident that the merger will go ahead and have pencilled in a completion date early in the New Year.
Last week, details of the new board were revealed, with only one HBOS executive included.
The name of the new group has been announced today and spells the ultimate demise of the Halifax and Bank of Scotland corporate colours. The new company will be known as Lloyds Banking Group.