Lloyds Banking Group is set to cut 659 IT staff.

Lloyds Banking Group is set to cut 659 IT staff.

The large cuts to technology are being made alongside and 275 back office processing staff, as well as 239 insurance staff in its Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical divisions. Some 370 contractors are included in the cuts.

The news is the latest in a string of job cuts at the bank, following the Lloyds TSB merger with HBOS last year, and the subsequent 43 percent takeover by the taxpayer. Over 8,700 cuts have been made at the bank in only the last 12 weeks.

Lloyds TSB said its operations division will cull 400 of the roles by the first quarter of next year, with offices in Edinburgh, Southend and Halifax the most heavily affected. The bank said in a statement that it would work through the changes “carefully and sensitively”.

The Lloyds TSB Union protested against the cuts, saying they were unjustified when the bank was maintaining “existing staffing levels” of workers outsourced from India.

The union, which has 42,000 members, also expressed disappointment that the UK cuts came after the government had injected billions of pounds into the bank.

Steve Tatlow, assistant general secretary, called it a “slap in the face” for the taxpayer. “The bank expects UK taxpayers to bail it out to the tune of over one thousand pounds each, and then makes the jobs of those very same tax payers redundant because it prefers to employ workers in India instead,” he said.

Unite, another trade union representing staff at the bank, also criticised the extent of the cuts made in the UK. Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, branded “the weekly cull of jobs” as a “disgraceful approach”.