Did Lloyds try to sneak out plan to close 60 branches moments before the Chancellor’s Spring Statement?
Lloyds came under fire last night after announcing plans to close 60 branches – just before Rishi Sunak delivered his Spring Statement.
The bank, under boss Charlie Nunn, said they would close this year as online banking booms.
But the move, which puts 124 jobs at risk, drew swift condemnation.
More closures: Lloyds – under new boss Charlie Nunn (pictured) – said 60 branches would close by the end of the year as use of its online banking services hits a record high
Trade union Unite said closures would ‘rip the heart out of local communities’.
National officer Caren Evans said: ‘The Government cannot stand back and allow the relentless closure of banks to continue until no more local banking services remain.’
Consumer group Which?’s money editor Jenny Ross said: ‘The timing of this suggests Lloyds is well aware of how unpopular bank closures are with the millions of people in this country who rely on bank branches.’
Lloyds’ retail director Vim Maru said the number of people using online banking and mobile phone apps rose 12 per cent and 27 per cent respectively in the last two years.
‘Our branch network is an important way to support our customers, but we need to adapt to the significant growth in customers choosing to do most of their everyday banking online,’ he said.