Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) is to axe a further 22 legal roles as part of a further restructure of the bank’s legal team. In addition, a total of c.5.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) roles will be created.
It is understood that LBG’s group GC Kate Cheetham relayed the news in a conference call earlier today (22 March). The call was led by Cheetham, and according to an internal source the bank’s chief people, legal and strategy officer Simon Davies was not involved.
Another lawyer at the bank added it was likely some of the redundancies will be voluntary.
‘People are really upset. One of the key things to come out is that a lot of people are so fed up that they are themselves thinking of putting their hand up to just go. The restructure last year was such a failure. The dust hasn’t settled from last year. Quite a lot of people share that view. The morale is quite low. People are so concerned especially in relation to Brexit and they are not sure what direction the bank is going. It is an uncertain time for us in the legal function.’
The role reductions are part of the bank’s strategic review which was announced in October 2014, however in relation to the legal function the overall goal is to reshape the legal function to enable people to work on big projects and reduce bureaucracy.
A LBG spokesperson said: ‘Lloyds Banking Group’s legal division is today announcing 22 net role reductions as part of the total role reductions already announced within the Group’s 2015-2017 strategy. This takes into account the creation of c.5.5 FTE new roles which will ensure the team has the right skills to support the Group deliver its strategy.
‘This process involves taking difficult decisions, and we are committed to working through these changes in a careful and sensitive way. All affected employees have been briefed by their line manager today. Accord and Unite were consulted prior to this announcement and will continue to be consulted.
‘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. 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.’
Last year Legal Business revealed that LBG was pushing an incentive scheme to its lawyers to secure new recruits into senior legal roles following a string of exits.