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HBOS culls 5% of IT workforce

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Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) is slashing around 100 IT jobs as part of a cost-cutting exercise aimed at reducing duplication between mortgage brands.

The bank plans to axe up to five per cent of its 2,000-strong UK-based IT workforce in what it has described as a “phased approach” that HBOS hopes to complete by the end of the year.

HBOS, which last month saw first half profits tumble 72 per cent to £848m, prefers to call the job cull a “streamlining” process to allow the company to focus on “service for our customer, efficient & cost effective delivery of projects, and overall cost management.”

The move is part of HBOS’s decision to prune one of its five mortgage brands – 425 jobs nationwide will be cut, of which 100 workers will go in IT. Later this month the firm will stop writing new mortgage loans at its TMB division.

“By redeploying affected colleagues wherever possible, HBOS estimates that around 90 colleagues will leave the company by the end of 2008. The aim is to achieve this through voluntary severance in accordance with the new Job Security Agreement,” said HBOS.

However, according to claims from one anonymous source, HBOS has announced 154 job cuts from their internal IT functions, which include 35 current vacancies that will simply be removed. It is understood that positions in Edinburgh, Chester and West Yorkshire will be affected.

In July HBOS told IT contractor staff to take a 10 per cent pay cut or work out their notice and leave by 10 August. Today's announcement shows that putting a dent in contractor salaries hasn't saved as many pennies as the bank might have hoped in the face of an economic slowdown. ®

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