The Lloyds Banking Group PLC (ADR) (NYSE:LYG) (LON:LLOY) announced today that it would prune 645 jobs and close its telephone banking centre in Cheshire.

Lloyds Banking

The bank, however, said 65 new roles will also be created across group operations and retail.

U.K. banks slash thousands of jobs

As reported earlier, Britain’s top four banks were expected to eliminate 189,000 jobs by the end of 2013 relative to their 2008 peak. Last year, Lloyds Banking Group PLC (ADR) (NYSE:LYG) (LON:LLOY) indicated it had already cut about 31,000 jobs since 2008 and announced it might cut further 2,340 during the year.

Lloyds has already cut over 2,400 jobs this year. The bank said 180 jobs will be lost at its call centre in Warrington by the end of the year, with 120 staff moving to its Speke centre.

Lloyds cites dwindling telephone banking

Citing reasons for its recent announcement, Lloyds Banking Group PLC (ADR) (NYSE:LYG) (LON:LLOY) said telephone banking use had dwindled given the rapid growth in online banking.

Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said the latest move would sink the staff morale to an all time low. He said the closure of the Warrington centre will hit the local economy and risks damaging customer service.

He further added: “Lloyds’ staff have worked hard since it was bailed out by the taxpayer to make the bank a success. Their reward has been continual uncertainty and attacks on their pensions. Lloyds Banking Group PLC (ADR) (NYSE:LYG) (LON:LLOY) needs to give its workforce stability and guarantees of no compulsory redundancies. Only then will the bank be able to live up to its motto to Make Britain Prosper.”

In its statement, Lloyds Banking Group PLC (ADR) (NYSE:LYG) (LON:LLOY) said: “As part of the Group’s simplification programme set out in its 2011 strategic plan, we have reached the decision to close Warrington Contact Centre, leading to around 180 role reductions, with around 120 roles also moving to nearby Speke, in Liverpool. Pooling our talent in this way enables us to operate more efficiently and improve our service to customers while providing greater career opportunities and a stronger support network for colleagues”.

Last month, Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) announced that it would slash 19,000 jobs by 2016, by pruning 7,000 jobs at its investment bank, while 14,000 jobs would be cut across the group in 2014.