Lloyds Banking Group is forging ahead on a mission to streamline its brick and mortar presence, planning to close a further 49 branches across the UK in line with changing banking trends.
This latest move from the bank is also set to result in the loss of 99 jobs, a familiar collateral effect of moving towards digitised services.
Taking a bold approach to the changing landscape, a plan has been outlined to close as many as 400 of its branches, sending a clear message that it is leaving the past behind.
Visits to bank branches are far less frequently on the agenda of the average banking customer, with smartphone apps and other online options saving people from making the trip. Remaining bank branches are also going through a transformation, with self-service kiosks becoming a common feature, and a drastically reduced staff presence.
Other recent activity from Lloyds gives a glimpse into its aspirations, as the bank recently signed a major deal with IBM in which it was agreed that Lloyds would make the jump to the IBM private cloud over the next three years.
A further motivation for this move may be the issues Lloyds has experienced with outages, driving the bank to access external support with data centre management. The deal also involves 1,500 Lloyds staff being sent to IBM.
On its ambitious digital journey, Lloyds must be increasingly aware of cybersecurity and its importance. At the beginning of 2017, Lloyds sustained a DDoS attack on its online banking service, causing significant disruption with widespread service outages.
The bold and innovative approach Lloyds is taking may prove vital to prevent itself from being ignored by customers following PSD2, a directive from the EU that will relinquish the control of customer data from the established banks, making it freely available to third party fintech providers.
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