Lloyds Bank is to close a further 200 branches and cut 3,000 more jobs by the end of next year.

The cuts, which are designed to save the company more than £1bn, are in addition to the 9,000 job losses and 200 branch closures announced in 2014.

In its half-year results, Lloyds group reported an underlying profit of £4.2bn – a drop of 5%. It said its pre-tax profits had more than doubled to £2.5bn.

There is a real danger that customer service will suffer and access to banking for numerous communities will be damaged

Rob MacGregor, national officer, Unite
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Chief executive António Horta-Osório said “evolving customer behaviours” are partly behind the decision to axe more jobs and branches than originally planned. 

He said Lloyds now operates the UK’s largest digital bank with more than 12m online users. A further seven million use the Lloyds mobile app. 

Rob MacGregor, national officer of the Unite union, said: “This grim news of yet more job losses and branch closures will send a shiver down the spine of Lloyds employees, who have worked hard to make the bank a success and deliver excellent customer service against a backdrop of continual uncertainty. 

“There is a real danger that customer service will suffer and access to banking for numerous communities will be damaged because of this latest round of savage cuts.”

Ged Nicholls, general secretary of Accord, said Lloyds staff were still reeling from the last round of job losses.

“They will be bewildered by today’s news and wonder what has happened that is so catastrophic that these further job cuts and branch closures are necessary. Interest rates may be lower for longer, but why are job losses higher and faster?” 

Brexit uncertainty

Mr Horta-Osório, announcing the financial results, said the outlook for the UK economy is “uncertain” following the country’s vote to leave the EU.

“While the precise impact is dependent upon a number of factors including EU negotiations and political and economic events, a deceleration of growth seems likely,” he said, adding that the UK enters this period of uncertainty “from a position of strength”.

“For Lloyds, our simple and low risk, UK focused, retail and commercial business model, together with the simplification and transformation of the business in recent years, position us well to continue doing the right thing for our customers and deliver strong returns for shareholders.”