May 09, 2013 01:31 PM EDT

UK's Lloyds to cut 850 jobs in drive to reduce costs

State-backed Lloyds Banking Group is cutting another 850 jobs to reduce costs, bringing the total number of jobs axed by the British bank since its 2008 bailout to around 35,000.

Lloyds, 39 percent owned by the British taxpayer, said on Thursday the reductions were part of the 15,000 job cuts it targeted in June 2011 in a plan to deliver annual savings of 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3 billion) by 2014.

It has cut 2,340 roles so far this year.

Banks are looking to reduce costs to make up for slow revenue growth as the industry struggles with challenging economic conditions.

Lloyds, which currently employs around 104,000 people, said the jobs would go at its commercial banking, retail and other units.

The move will be partially offset by the creation of 275 new roles, the majority of which will be in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Pitreavie, Scotland, it said.

British trade union Unite attacked the cuts, saying Lloyds, HSBC and Barclays had shed a combined 5,500 staff since the beginning of 2013.

"The constant job cuts across the banking industry are bad for bank staff, do nothing to support customers and are bad for Britain's economy," it said.

Lloyds said it would only resort to compulsory redundancies as a last result and only a third of job reductions during 2012 had been through redundancies.

Lloyds paid a heavy price for its government engineered takeover of HBOS, requiring a 20-billion-pound state bailout.

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