June 20, 2018 / 1:08 PM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Britain's Lloyds Banking Group axes 450 jobs

* Cuts are latest as bank seeks to trim costs

* Jobs lost are mainly back office roles

* Lawmakers have criticised scale of bank cuts (Adds more detail, Lloyds comment, context)

By Emma Rumney and Lawrence White

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group said on Wednesday it would cut 450 mainly back office roles, in the latest round of job cuts as Britain’s lenders look to reduce costs and focus on digital initiatives.

The bank also said it would create 255 new roles, meaning a net reduction of 195, as part of a 3 billion pound ($3.95 billion) technology investment programme laid out at the bank’s three-year strategy update in February.

The cuts follow the axing of 930 jobs at Lloyds earlier this year and hundreds of cuts and branch closures at other banks, as lenders face growing competition from low-cost, technology-based rivals and consumers increasingly opt to bank online or on their mobile phones.

The cuts have become a politically sensitive issue, with some lawmakers and members of the public highlighting the impact on staff and on customers who are deprived of access to physical branches.

“Today’s announcement involves making difficult decisions, and we are committed to working through these changes in a careful and sensitive way,” a Lloyds spokeswoman said.

$1 = 0.7591 pounds Editing by Louise Heavens

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