Posted by Allison on 11 June 2009, 11:04
In the current economic climate, with the recession biting as hard as ever, it is not surprising that we are still seeing the fall of certain companies as the recession takes hold.
The banking sector in particular has been in the news a lot in recent months. Several banks have had to be bailed out by the government in order to be saved, in scenes that were unprecedented. People who were previously checking their currency converter to see how much their holiday cash would buy them elsewhere in the world now have something else to do. They are now wondering whether their money is safe in their bank, and whether they will still have a job at the end of the month.
But a news story hit the headlines on the 9th June which took many people by surprise. In one of the biggest and most shocking closures yet, the huge Lloyds group made the announcement that it is closing every single one of the Cheltenham and Gloucester branches it owns. That amounts to 164 branches and well over 1600 jobs. The familiar blue Cheltenham and Gloucester sign is set to become a thing of the past.
This story in the Daily Mail is indicative of the news headlines that reverberated all round the internet when the story broke. You can read it here.
It has been said that there is much more to come as well, and this could be just the start of a very bad time for anyone working for some part of the new conglomerate bank. But this is surely just a sign of the times – albeit a hard one to swallow. It is thought that a lot more people will also lose their jobs before this cull is over, and that doesn’t make for pretty reading.
The struggling British pound has been in the news a lot over recent months. But as we can see now, there are other news stories and events happening in the UK that arguably have a much more direct effect on the fortunes of those living in the UK. Could anyone have imagined that a whole banking chain in the shape of Cheltenham and Gloucester would disappear in one fell swoop like this?
Some would say this is to be expected when a group as huge as the Lloyds Banking Group comes into existence. It was only formed with the approval of the government, and in ‘normal’ times it is doubtful whether such an event could even have happened at all.
This must be a living nightmare for those who are affected by the job cuts. There are fears that others will soon follow too, although for the moment these fears are speculation and nothing concrete has been confirmed.
But if the experts are right and this is just the beginning, then this could be a summer of discontent for anyone working with the Lloyds Banking Group. It does make you wonder whether creating such a huge business in the first place really was the best idea in the long run.
Only history will be able to tell us that of course, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next. For the sake of those working for the group though, let’s hope it isn’t too severe.