Lloyds axe another 9,000 jobs

File photo dated 04/08/10 of a sign for Lloyds Banking Group, as the group is to cut 9,000 jobs over

File photo dated 04/08/10 of a sign for Lloyds Banking Group, as the group is to cut 9,000 jobs over three3 years and shut 150 branches. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 28, 2014. See PA story CITY Lloyds. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire - Credit: PA

State-backed Lloyds Banking Group is to cut 9,000 jobs over the next three years as part of plans which will see the net closure of 150 branches.

The group, which is 25pc owned by the taxpayer, said it plans to 'digitise' the bank, adding that it wants to simplify the business and be more efficient.

Meanwhile, third-quarter results showed underlying profits for the business, which includes Halifax and Bank of Scotland, up 41pc to £2.2 billion.

Bottom line pre-tax profits were £693 million after taking into account one-off charges including a £900 million increase in provision for payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal.

It takes the running total of the sum set aside for PPI by Lloyds to £11.32 billion.

The job cuts announced by Lloyds represent around 10pc of its current workforce of 88,000. It has already slashed more than 30,000 since the start of the financial crisis.

Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said: 'Over the last three years the successful delivery of our strategy has ensured that we have become a safe, highly efficient, UK-focused retail and commercial bank.

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'The next phase of our strategy will use these strong foundations as a basis for meeting the rapidly-changing needs of our customers, and sets out how we will grow the business in a way that will deliver increasing and sustainable returns for our shareholders.'

But Rob MacGregor, national officer of the Unite union, said: 'These are deeply unsettling times for Lloyds staff, who, after days of speculation and leaks, face yet another round of job cuts and a future of uncertainty.

'Job cuts of approximately 10pc could have unknown consequences on customer service and will put even more pressure on staff who have helped get the bank back on the right track.'