Published: 22:13, 06 November 2018
| Updated: 22:23, 06 November 2018
Lloyds is poised to close a huge commercial banking site in the county as part of plans for a corporate overhaul to focus the company on online services, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.
Its operation in Gillingham Business Park would be axed if it pushes ahead with plans to cut more than 6,000 back-office roles, although it would create more than 8,000 new jobs as part of a digital transformation.
The closure would affect hundreds of workers and has been described as "bitter pill" for loyal staff according to unions.
Lloyds, which was released from government ownership last year after a bailout following the 2008 financial crash, has closed 500 branches and axed 50,000 jobs in recent years.
Its most recently announced cutback plans include closing branches in Hythe, Rochester and Wingham, near Canterbury.
It made third quarter pre-tax profits of £1.8 billion.
Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said: “This latest announcement will undoubtedly hit the morale of staff who have had to endure round after round of job cuts, branch closures and constant upheaval.
“The news of additional jobs will prove to be a bitter pill for workers at Lloyd’s Gillingham site closure.
"These hard working staff face limited opportunities for redeployment, while other workers around the country could effectively be forced out of a job because they are unable to travel or move to where the new roles are located.
“Unite will be pressing Lloyds to guarantee no compulsory redundancies and ensuring that staff who move into new roles are given the support and skills that enable them to continue delivering the best possible customer service.”