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Lloyds axes 570 jobs – C&G intermediary arm to close

Lloyds Banking Group is cutting 570 jobs across the group as part of cost cutting measures which include the closure of its Cheltenham & Gloucester mortgage range for advisers.

Lloyds TSB announced its intention to take over HBOS in September 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. Since the start of the integration process between the two companies, the bank has made a massive 26,770 job losses.

In the latest move to integrate the businesses, the bank told advisers in an email today that C&G for Intermediaries will no longer be accepting mortgage applications for both new and existing customers.

New intermediary applications must be received in full before midnight on March 31 in order to be processed.

C&G mortgages will continue to be available direct through the branch network and by telephone.

A spokeswoman for Lloyds says there will be no impact on existing mortgages or on pipeline business.

Lloyds has written to customers who are in the process of taking out a mortgage with C&G or who have made changes to their mortgage via an adviser to notify them of the closure.

The move will see three intermediary mortgage brands remain at Lloyds. Halifax for Intermediaries will become the mainstream brand, BM Solutions will continue to deal with buy-to-let mortgages, and Scottish Widows Bank will continue to offer more niche mortgages.

It will also see the number of sales teams reduced from three to two. One team will be responsible for the Halifax and Scottish Widows Bank brands, while the remaining team will focus on BM Solutions.

Sales director of mortgages Mike Jones says: “This decision allows us to remove overlap and thereby focus our broker activity via the Halifax Intermediary business. We will build on our strength here so that Halifax truly represents the mainstream intermediary lender for our group. We are committed to the intermediary market, and will be continuing to offer strong rates and leading service levels.

“This approach ensures that across Halifax, BM Solutions and Scottish Widows Bank, the group can continue to offer a focused and all encompassing proposition to brokers and their clients.”

The closure forms part of wider job losses across the bank. Staff have been informed today and now are in a consultation period.

Job cuts will be made from the wholesale, retail, insurance, group operations and HR divisions.

Lloyds has also decided to outsource its cheque and credit processing services to third party provider iPSL. A further 450 roles will be transferred to iPSL, but will not result in additional job losses.

A spokeswoman for Lloyds says: “Lloyds is committed to working through these changes with employees in a careful and sensitive way. All affected employees have been briefed by their line manager today. The group’s union partners, Accord, GMB, LTU and Unite were consulted prior to this announcement and will continue to be consulted throughout the process.

“The group’s policy is always to use natural turnover and to redeploy people wherever possible to retain their expertise and knowledge within the group. Where it is necessary for employees to leave the company, it will look to achieve this by offering voluntary severance. Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort.”

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Comments

There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Probably bad news but, if LBG stop dual-pricing Halifax mortgages, it might actually improve things.

    I suspect, however, that “…committed to the intermediary market” is, sadly, a dishonest way of saying that they are marginalising brokers and taking advantage of FSA laxity when it comes to policing non-advised mortgages.

  2. A sad day. For many years C&G were far and away the best mortgage underwriter in town. I wish all affected people the best of luck.

  3. As an ex-employee of C&G, I must offer my (sarcastic) congratulations to LTSB.

    Mission accomplished?

    They had the ball, and dropped it.

  4. Graeme Ferguson 17th March 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I need somebody to tell me why they think Halifax is a strong brand currently? Lloyds have no strong brands in the market as they are effectively out of it!

    Easy to cain the brokers, but for what reason, but self interest… can’t wait to see them all running back to the broker channel when it suits, though they will have to offer cheap rates as we all have long memories!

    Arse from elbow syndrome!

    what a farse the whole sector is now… well done Lloyds

  5. What’s all the fuss. A friend of mine submitted a direct to lender mortgage app with the client present and charged a £500 broker fee. Thanks to dual pricing the rate was lower than via the intermediary channel and the lender arrangement fee was £500 instead of £1000. The client even got a free val which wasn’t available via the intermediary channel. Where theres a way……..
    Ok, he didn’t get a proc fee but on simple £80k mortgage he would normally have just made a miniscule 0.3% with no broker fee from the client. So it looks like all parties were better off.

  6. Martyn Sinclair 19th March 2011 at 10:14 am

    I hope the singiular Halifax offering via brokers will provide a stronger product. This result was obvious from the start. Halifax or C&G – my opinion Halifax wins hands down. C&G still have districution through Lloyds.

    As 2.09pm said “whats all the fuss about” – genuinely sorry for the jobs that are going though.

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