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Lloyds TSB highlights closures and cost cutting
The details of the take over bid from Lloyds TSB are slowly being released and have already caused consternation with thousands of bank employees as threats job losses emerged. The merger will include household names such as Scottish Widows, Halifax and the Bank of Scotland.
Eric Daniels, Lloyds TSB’s chief executive said that their will be losses but that it was too early to speculate on the numbers involved. However, some commentators are hinting that as many as 40,000 staff could go. HBOS employs 72,000 and Lloyds has 70,000 and has one of the biggest branch networks in the country with 1,900 under the Lloyds and Cheltenham & Gloucester brands.
Cost cutting measures are also high on the agenda and branch closures seem almost certain at both banks with an estimated saving of at least £1 billion in annual costs by 2011.
Under normal circumstances a merger of such large institutions into one entity would not have been tolerated as it would have meant a serious lack of competition in the banking world but under the present circumstances the Government has stepped in and used section 42 of the 2002 Enterprise Act to extend the grounds for its intervention in the grounds of public interest.
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