Struggling British Banks Cut More Jobs
British banks Lloyds (NYSE:LYG) and Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS), both of which were bailed out by the government during the 2008 credit crisis, announced on Tuesday they would be cutting a combined 1,900 jobs.
Lloyds had the larger share of cuts, doing away with 1,600 positions as it tries to halve its international presence. RBS said it would lose approximately 300 jobs after cutting 464 positions while adding 150, Reuters reported. “We are working hard to rebuild RBS in order to repay taxpayers for their support and having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of this process,” RBS said in a statement.
The British government owns around 82 percent of RBS and 40 percent of Lloyds after the bailouts. Since then, the banks have together cut a total of 64,000 jobs.
Britain’s biggest trade union, Unite, reacted to the latest cuts by announcing it had asked the government to intervene. “How can there be any justification for the government not intervening as these much needed jobs are lost from our struggling economy,” Unite’s David Fleming said in a statement.
He added that the union had written to UKFI, the body that manages the government’s shareholdings in the two banks. UKFI declined to comment.
The banks have been struggling to cut costs and reduce taxpayer stakes since the 2008 financial crisis. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Lloyds logged a net loss of 2.8 billion pounds ($4.38 billion) last year. RBS announced a loss of 2 billion pounds ($3.14 billion) for 2011.
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