British bank Lloyds is to cut 15,000 jobs and will halve its international operations to fewer than 15 countries.
New Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio announced the plans which he hopes will save 1.7 billion euros a year by 2014.
He said he wants to reduce middle management and make the part-nationalised lender simpler and more agile to return it to profit.
“We have to do this. The bank has lost money and is losing money as you saw in Q1 and we have to get this bank back on its feet to support the UK economy and to get it profitable in order to pay taxpayers’ money back,” he said.
The latest cuts for Lloyds, Europe’s seventh biggest bank by market value, will add to 27,000 job losses already since the 2008 financial crisis. Lloyds currently employs some 103,000 staff.
HSBC is also reportedly poised to axe about 700 jobs in its UK retail bank arm.
Trade union Unite slammed the redundancy plans at the two British banks, adding it was “flabbergasted” by HSBC’s move.
“Unite has been informed that these cuts will generate savings of around nine million pounds for HSBC. Is it a coincidence that this figure is the equivalent to the bonus for Stuart Gulliver, HSBC Chief Executive, due to be paid later this month?” said David Fleming, Unite national officer.
HSBC, which employs 55,000 staff in the UK, declined to comment.