Lloyds Bank has cut about 250 jobs in its IT team, but has offset this with the creation of 150 new positions as it turns its attention to customer-focused IT.
The net reduction of 98 roles in the CIO division, after taking into account the new jobs created, comes at a time when customers are increasingly using digital channels, such as mobile apps, to do their banking, which is forcing banks to increase certain skills while reducing the need for others. This is leading banks to change their IT departments.
The latest cuts are part of a wider cull of more than 900 jobs at Lloyds. These involve reductions in commercial banking, risk, community banking and insurance, as well as the cuts in the CIO office.
“Last month, Lloyds Banking Group announced 98 role reductions across the chief information office, which takes into account 150 new roles which will be created. These changes are being driven by advances in the technology we use to ensure we respond to our customers’ needs in a fast and efficient way,” said a company statement.
It is not just IT staffing that is being hit by technology advances. Changing customer habits are also contributing to reductions in the number of Lloyds Bank branches and the staff who work at them. Late last year, the bank announced plans to close another 49 branches, with the loss of 99 jobs.
Lloyds Bank is not alone. Recent figures from the European Banking Federation, which include the UK, revealed more than 9,000 bank branches were closed in 2016, and more than 50,000 people working at those banks lost their jobs.
And it doesn’t end there. Some banks are using artificial intelligence (AI) to offer customers financial advice. NatWest, for example, is offering consumers an investment advice service automated through software. The automated financial advice services led to a 220-employee reduction in its face-to-face adviser roles.
In September 2017, the Deutsche Bank said many of its staff would eventually be replaced by robots as the bank increasingly uses AI technology. CEO John Cryan is reported to have told an audience at a conference in Frankfurt that a “big number” of the bank’s staff would lose their jobs as a result of new technology taking over. The bank has around 100,000 employees.