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Banks restructure to cut costs

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 01:59

Britain's Lloyds Banking Group is cutting jobs and taking another 900 million pound ($1.5 billion) charge to compensate customers mis-sold loan insurance. As Melanie Ralph reports it's not the only bank suffering - even one-time star performer Standard Chartered is warning of falling profits.

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Another bad day for the banks. Lloyds has confirmed it's slashing 9000 jobs and closing 150 branches. It all comes as Lloyds has to pay out another mis-selling charge to the tune of 900 million pounds. That brings the total compensation bill to a whopping 11 and a half billion pounds. Lloyds intends to move more online, and the restructuring news wasn't met with much surprise. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH): UNIDENTIFIED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, SAYING: "It has been going on for a while redundancies, on a large scale, particularly in banking and post offices. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH): UNIDENTIFIED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, SAYING: "I've been with them for 40 years, so pretty disappointing (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH): UNIDENTIFIED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, SAYING: "Unfortunately it's a sign of the times and also tax payers put a lot of money into lloyds, but unfortunately its a sign of the times. Lloyds was already in the headlines after only just passing the bank stress test set by European regulators. The test checked whether banks had enough capital to weather another economic crash - Lloyds did but only just . There were quite a few others who didn't, but largely markets are seeing this as a turning point, says Barclays' Will Hobbs. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) BARCLAYS ANALYST, WILL HOBBS, SAYING: "The weakness in bank lending in continental Europe can not be fully explained by the weakness in economic data, suggesting that banks to a certain extent have been holding back on lending in order to fill up their books. Now obviously there's a demand aspect to lending as well but we do see bank lending channels continuing to thaw into the year end and next year, helped by the ECBs various base measures." The ECB's measures may not help another British bank. Standard Chartered is under pressure from a slowing Asia. Its shares tumbled to a five year low after reporting a profit warning for the second half of this year. They too will start restructring to make up losses following a rise in bad debts in key markets like India and China. Higher regulation and compliance costs are also being blamed for squeezing profit margins. In a bid to streamline operations, Standard chartered aims to cut $400 million more from costs next year.

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Banks restructure to cut costs

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 01:59