Lloyds reviews use of office space amid homeworking trend

Banking group becomes latest big employer to consider long-term remote working

Lloyds Banking Group is reviewing the amount of office space it uses, becoming the latest large UK employer to take advantage of a homeworking trend during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are indeed reviewing our property strategy,” its chief executive, António Horta-Osório, said on Thursday.

The bank, which has 50,000 of its 65,000 staff working from home, recently polled staff and found 89% felt they were adapting well to the change. About two-thirds said they wanted to work from home more in the future.

“As more of our colleagues are able to work flexibly and remotely, we are becoming less reliant on office space,” he said. “And also the type of office space we will need in the future is likely to change to reflect changing working styles. And it is important to note that no decisions or commitments have been made at this stage.”

Horta-Osório said the staff survey would influence an existing plan to consolidate its office footprint into six strategic hubs across the UK, focusing on London, Scotland, West Yorkshire, and the north-west, West Midlands and the south-west.

“We will be working to understand what the future of work and the office looks like which will also help to inform our decision,” he added.

Horta-Osório’s comments come a day after Jes Staley, the chief executive of rival Barclays, said his bank was also reviewing its property footprint after seeing how 30,000 of its 50,000 UK staff have been able to work from home effectively during the coronavirus crisis.

“We’ve all learned a lot in the last couple of months about the dynamic work environment and it’s extraordinary that we’re running a bank of the complexity of Barclays with over 60,000 people working from their kitchen tables,” Staley said. “We are going to think about our real estate mix, given the lessons that we’ve learned.”

In April, Staley made headlines after declaring the days of putting 7,000 people into a single building “may be a thing of the past”.

However, on Thursday, he stressed the importance of getting staff together physically to improve culture and promote collaboration. He said the bank would continue to operate in hubs including Manchester, Glasgow and London.

“It will be fascinating to see how it evolves over the next couple of years … but we’ll still have a major presence in places like Canary Wharf and other locations,” Staley said.

The bank refused to comment on reports it was considering terminating its lease for its building in North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, in an attempt to cut rent costs.

The move would involve shifting its investment bankers to the lender’s Canary Wharf headquarters based in Churchill Place, which houses 7,000 staff. The Times, which first reported the potential move, said it would involve a shift to permanent homeworking for some staff.


Kalyeena Makortoff Banking correspondent

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Lloyds embraces hybrid working with 20% cut in office space
Announcement comes as group reveals 72% drop in annual pre-tax profits to £1.2bn for 2020

Kalyeena Makortoff Banking correspondent

24, Feb, 2021 @4:59 PM

Article image
Lloyds to move 700 staff into full-time homeworking roles
Banking group makes decision despite Covid vaccines putting end of restrictions in sight

Kalyeena Makortoff Banking correspondent

04, Dec, 2020 @1:40 PM

Article image
Lloyds bank accounts targeted in huge cybercrime attack
Banking group says none of its 20m accounts were hacked or compromised after fending off two-day denial of service attack

Patrick Collinson

23, Jan, 2017 @12:20 PM

Article image
Lloyds launches review of HBOS fraud compensation scheme
Former high court judge to lead independent appraisal amid claims victims were treated unfairly

Kalyeena Makortoff Banking correspondent

03, May, 2019 @4:12 PM

Article image
Lloyds chief apologises for damage caused by affair allegations
António Horta-Osório emailed 75,000 staff to express regret for bad publicity and attempts to quash questions about his position

Sean Farrell

24, Aug, 2016 @10:19 AM

Article image
Lloyds apologises after customers hit by online banking glitch
Lender’s problem comes as IT outages in the sector come under increased scrutiny

Kalyeena Makortoff

11, Feb, 2019 @6:31 PM

Article image
Late rush in PPI mis-selling claims pushes Lloyds' bill past £20bn
Bank puts aside more cash as 29 August deadline looms

Kalyeena Makortoff Banking correspondent

31, Jul, 2019 @8:19 AM

Article image
TSB rejected help from Lloyds at start of IT meltdown
Bank accused of ‘playing fast and loose’, as some users still report problems accessing accounts

Angela Monaghan

15, May, 2018 @7:39 AM

Article image
UK banks offer mortgage holidays for customers affected by coronavirus
RBS, NatWest, Lloyds and TSB to increase credit card limits and let fixed-term savers withdraw cash early

Kalyeena Makortoff Banking correspondent

10, Mar, 2020 @11:41 AM

Article image
Lloyds reveals location of 100 branch closures as it cuts 325 jobs
Reductions form part of three-year cost-cutting which will see 12,000 jobs cut and 400 branches closed by end of 2017

Julia Kollewe

05, Apr, 2017 @2:12 PM