LLOYDS Banking Group (LBG) has announced plans for 865 job cuts which look likely to take a toll on its Scottish Widows operation.

The group, which also owns Bank of Scotland, said the cuts mainly related to existing plans to simplify its business that were put on pause as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

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Lloyds did not provide details of how the job cuts will affect different geographic areas.

However, it is understood that the main business areas impacted will be insurance and wealth.

The Edinburgh-based Scottish Widows pensions and investments business is an important part of the insurance and wealth division.

Lloyds has formed a new wealth management operation with fund management giant Schroders, which it expects to grow into a top UK financial planning business. Work is being transferred to Schroders Personal Wealth from operations owned by Lloyds.

The rationalisation programme is also expected to lead to job losses in Lloyds’ retail banking operations. The scale of work the group needs to do in respect of the payment protection insurance mis-selling compensation scheme is reducing.

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The group said the job losses would be offset by the creation of 226 roles, leading to net reduction of 639 posts.

A spokesperson said: “When the pandemic began in March, we suspended all planned structural changes and made a number of commitments to colleagues to give them as much support as possible during this period of uncertainty.

“This included continuing to pay colleagues in full regardless of their working circumstances and pledging that anyone placed on notice of redundancy would not leave the Group before October, both of which we remain fully committed to.”

The spokesperson added that no-one impacted by the announcement will leave the company before November. The focus of the group remains on supporting its customers, colleagues and communities.

Unite union national officer Rob MacGregor said he was worried about the prospects for workers who were being let go in a chaotic jobs market.

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He added: "Unite is adamant that it is totally unacceptable that LBG persists in putting undue pressure on those who remain working for the bank by making hundreds more of their fellow workers redundant on a regular basis."