Britain's Lloyds resumes plan to close 56 branches

FILE PHOTO: Customers use ATMs at a branch of Lloyds Bank in London, Britain, February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group LLOY.L has resumed plans to shutter 56 branches across its own, Halifax and Bank of Scotland brands, impacting 160 jobs, union Unite said in a statement on Wednesday.

Lloyds had shelved the 56 branch closures earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic to focus resources on helping staff and consumers cope with the fallout from the crisis.

“We paused these closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, after careful consideration, these planned closures will take place in March and April 2021,” a Lloyds spokeswoman said, adding there would be no compulsory redundancies.

Unite criticised the move, which comes after Lloyds cut more than 1,000 jobs earlier this month.

“The decision to go ahead and close 56 branches is unjustified and damaging,” Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said.

Reporting by Iain Withers, Editing by Lawrence White