Lloyds cuts protection advice ahead of intermediary relaunch

Lloyds Banking Group has confirmed it is cutting “stand-alone” protection advice in a move that will see around 1,250 jobs cut and which is part of a three-year strategic reorganisation announced last month.

In a statement Lloyds confirmed protection would no longer be available “on a stand-alone basis” across Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland branches, which it said reflected “reduced customer demand”. Protection will still be offered as part of the mortgage price process, the bank added.

Staff were told yesterday (13 November) that the changes would result in 1,250 role reductions, part of a wider move to axe 9,000 jobs over the coming three years in a shift to digital customer interaction.

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The changes to protection sales come after its subsidiary Scottish Widows revealed to FTAdviser in June that it would relaunch into the intermediary channel next year, following a review launched in 2012.

A spokesperson for the firm revealed the provider would be initially launching a product offering for life assurance and critical illness, though internal discussions on the specifics of the products were still ongoing.

The statement from Lloyds said: “Lloyds Banking Group is today announcing around 1,250 role reductions as part of the reductions recently announced in the group’s strategic update.

“The vast majority of roles impacted are as a result of changes the group is making to the way it offers protection products... As a result of significantly reduced customer demand, these products will no longer be available on a stand-alone basis. We will continue to offer protection as part of the mortgage sales process.

The statement added that the group’s policy is always to use natural turnover and to redeploy people wherever possible to retain their expertise and knowledge. “Where it is necessary for employees to leave the company, it will look to achieve this by offering voluntary redundancy.

“The group has an effective track record of managing change. In the past three years since 2011, over 90 per cent of role reductions were achieved through a combination of natural attrition, redeployment and voluntary redundancy.”