Lloyds rethinks brand strategy and cuts 15,000 jobs in overhaul

Lloyds Banking Group has committed to increasing investment in products, loyalty programmes and mobile banking services across its brand portfolio in a bid to become the “best bank for customers”.

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The banking group has unveiled details of a major overhaul of its retail brand strategy. The Halifax brand bought as part of the acquisition of HBOS in 2008, will be “revitalised” as a “leading challenger brand”, the company says, while Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland will be positioned as “relationship” brands.

Investment will also be made, the company adds, in measures to “recognise and reward customers’ loyalty” as well as in branches and new channels such as mobile banking, and services like financial management tool Money Manager.

Measures were announced in the results of a strategic review of the banking group launched by chief executive António Horta-Osório after joining from Santander in March.

The review aims to deliver £1.5bn in savings by 2014 and return Lloyds to after-tax profit. To this end, the group is to cut 15,000 jobs, about 14% of its 104,000 strong workforce.

No details on which roles will be cut have been given but Lloyds insists that no branches will close. The bank is already committed to selling more than 600 branches under a European Union competition ruling.

Lloyds has also already cut more than 27,000 jobs since it acquired HBOS at the height of the financial crisis in 2008. The takeover left Lloyds 41% owned by the taxpayer.

A “delayered” management structure will be introduced, while support functions will be centralised. Oversight of retail marketing and product strategy has already been centralised under the stewardship of wealth and international boss Antonio Lorenzo.

Savings will also be made by improvements to IT and legal systems, the company adds.

Horta-Osório says: “Our aim is to become the best bank for customers. We have around 30 million customers, iconic brands, including Lloyds TSB, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows, and high-quality, committed people.”

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