back to article Lloyds buy leaves HBOS techies facing axe - again

IT workers at Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) face the job axe again this morning after the UK’s largest mortgage lender was thrown a £12.2bn lifeline from Lloyds TSB. Reports have suggested that up to 40,000 people at the bank could lose their jobs once the shock merger between the two companies completes. Lloyds chief …

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Flame

WTF is going on?

So the bank made £848m PROFIT, in one month, and that qualifies as it being in trouble?!

Just what the hell is going on? Seriously, i dunno about the stock market stuff, does all this money go back out onto the share market or what?

I just can't understand how these behemoths who make billions a year can come crashing down because of a bunch of shouty tossers on the stock floor getting nervous.

/oh and hooray, the old flame icon is back, now lets see the dead vulture again

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Coat

Hmmmm

same old same old, the bosses get the bonuses, the plebs get the shaft.

I wonder how many "Little Leaving gifts" are being coded on the IT system at the moment.

Not that I condone any such action by a professional, just thought I'd ask

Coat? well thats obvious really

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The conversation....

Brown : Well, as chancellor I totally messed up the economy, banks are in trouble and the entire economy is going down the drain, now I'm PM I'm still managing to mess it up!

HBOS : Darn it, we're going under, what can we do?

Lloyds : We shall rescue you, of course, it may cause unfair competition

Brown : Nah, don't worry about that, unfair competition which makes me look good is a good thing, I'll smooth it over, oh yeah, gimme a job? I doubt I'll be re-elected when the law states I have to have an election, wonder if I can change that law?

Barclays/Alliance-Leicester/etc : .....

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I'm no expert on economics but...

Wouldn't now be a good time to open a new bank?

There are plenty of quality staff on the market, call centres ready to be used etc. A new back would start with a clean balance sheet, no outstanding liabilities etc. and could setup in competition with all these problem ridden banks who are continually adding additional charges on to account that customers have held for decades.

All these mergers are reducing competition in the markets and I'd welcome a new bank with open arms.

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Joke

Where's the IT angle?

I mean sure it does have one right now- but give it a couple of weeks and they'll fire anyone affected by it...

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Sir Victor Blank

..is a real name?

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Anonymous Coward

i doubt it

not in the short term anyway. Halifax and BOS systems still aren't merged, lloyds and TSB systems aren't either.

Not too sure about the long term, but, in the short term, there should be some nice juicy migration and consolidation projects coming up.

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Unhappy

Damn City

Personally I blame all those in the city paid millions in bonuses to mess with our jobs. There's been a perceived weakness in the bank because of exposure to the UK mortgage market, exacerbated by some bad reporting in the media, so they all sell of shares or short them in bulk crashing the share price, then the wholesale markets go "oooo, don't think we'll fund them, their obviously in trouble look at the share price". and customers think "ooo, I think I'll withdraw my savings", it's a vicious circle, meaning bank gets no money and therefore it becomes true that the bank is in trouble after rumours that we are, when it wasn't that bad.

On jobs we still haven't heard anything, but don't think I'll sit around waiting to see what happens, CV is winging it's way out.

Soon to be ex-hbos employee

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Alert

This seemed the best place to mention this:

Watching BBC world news last night an American reporter reported Lloyds Insurance of London was sold to HBoS! Quite an exclusive.

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Flame

Well let's see now...

The contractor's will be asked to take a, oh dunno say 25% rate cut or get out? Am I close? The permies will told there will be no bonuses until the situation is sorted and as the contractors will most likely not want to get shafted, the permies will be told to "all pull together" to cover the huge gaps left by the connies. Meanwhile the useless managers will be left where they are to pull down the big money and tell the menials permies and contractors who did stay, to start tightening those belts for the lean times ahead. Getting warm?

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Thumb Up

As an ex HBOS victim...

I'll be glad to see their techies using their skills and knowledge to ruin the lives of the HBOS directors.

If you're reading this, any of you... Please, not the customers data, mmkay?

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Stop

@Joe K

The profit does not cover the maturing obligations worth 190+ billion. There was hardly any money in the kitty to keep the reserve ratio/payments after the fall in the share price. It is a fire sale though being labelled a merger.

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Anonymous Coward

HBOS & Northern Rock

If Brown simply said "HBOS is financially solid", who would believe him after his statements over Northern Rock? So HBOS has to be sold to another bank, and the competition problems ignored because Brown has no credibility and reassurances are moot after the Northern Rock mishandling.

And the fix for this, is the Labour party refuses to distribute nomination papers to prevent anyone challenging him. Ignoring their own rules to avoid a vote on him. He plans to hang on like John Major did till the electorate kick him out. Even though it's clear nobody wants to vote for him now.

If he can't allow a vote in his own party then he is not fit to lead a democracy.

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Coat

Does this remind you of anything?

Cosmo: Posit: People think a bank might be financially shaky.

Martin Bishop: Consequence: People start to withdraw their money.

Cosmo: Result: Pretty soon it is financially shaky.

Martin Bishop: Conclusion: You can make banks fail.

Cosmo: Bzzt. I've already done that. Maybe you've heard about a few? Think bigger.

Martin Bishop: Stock market?

Cosmo: Yes.

Martin Bishop: Currency market?

Cosmo: Yes.

Martin Bishop: Commodities market?

Cosmo: Yes.

Martin Bishop: Small countries?

/Mines the one with the black answering machine in the pocket.

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Coat

It's all the fault of the Mr B's

You've got Mr Bean at the Bank of England, Mr Blank the Chairman of Lloyds, oh yes and Mr Brown of course...

Mine's the one with the inflatable mattress in the pocket that I can stash all my money under.

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Paris Hilton

I notice

That Sir Victor Blanks will be staying on as head of everything in the new, bigger bank. So one could say they're not firing Blanks.

I'd say that there'll be a fair bit of work for the IT folks in the next 18 months when they stitch the banks together. I'd also say that to save a billion pounds they would need to cull *only* around 15-20,000 jobs - and these'll be mostly branch/call centre type roles - and there will be some nervous middle management out there also. (Note: I know the average wage at the bank is <£50K but every job carries overheads and closing a branch, office or service facility (like a data centre) increases those savings. Plus, many savings will come from increased leverage over suppliers and economies of scale in purchasing and borrowing. It's a lot but it's less than 40,000.

@Ben Rose - your main issue would be raising the initial capital to start a new bank in the current 'credit crunch' times.

Paris - because she has experience in public slammings together.

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Pirate

Amazing how few people have a clue

You get a bank that gets in trouble because credit spreads widen as a result of banks becoming less willing to lend money to each other. As the market sees the spreads widen it gets worried about collapse and the share price adjusts accordingly.

The credit crunch causes are simple to figure out. Banks start making big losses on the sub-prime stuff. The bank has a regulatory requirement to hold a particular amount of cash to cover it's positions, when it loses a sizeable percentage of that it has to start selling positions. This is the start of the death spiral. The banks don't have the cash to lend to each other, and the liquidations keep fueling losses which make things worse.

This crisis is most definitely not because of media speculation or anything else. The biggest issue was probably more to do with historically low interest rates and housing still going up. If the government had allowed the Bank of England to include housing costs in interest rate calculations this crash would not be happening

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Anonymous Coward

Same for A&L

It'll be the same at Alliance and Leicester, to be bought by Abbey's parent. Abbey are going to cease their over budget and late Accenture Core billing replacement project for a start, heavy axing of the rest of the IT staff will follow later. Not a good time for Banking - of either the retail or investment sort.

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Coat

Staff paying the price..?

So, when times are good, there are jobs-a-plenty (cos we all know that headcount means "I HAZ DA POWER!" in IT management); contractor rates go up & permies have job security & bonuses.

Sounds like the poor old downtrodden workers had an unusually good time (compared with a baseline of where things *should* have been) too. Yes, it's temporary, and is now coming to an end (which sucks). But if bank workers can't see the benefits of saving during the good times, then they're in the wrong industry. OK, just like the bosses then ;-)

Ahead of the queue for the cloakroom; taxi booked.

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Alert

LTSB couldn't bring HBOS in...

No way are LTSB's systems ready. Lloyds and TSB systems are hanging together with glue and sticky tape, Scottish Widows are a law unto themselves (at least they get things done) and C&G is basically being moved to India.

Bringing in HBOS is going to be interesting as LTSB's internal miserliness is all about cutting costs and quite frankly all this spend is going to cripple everything. More work, less pay, no thanks and I bet they still won't cancel IBM's Internet Banking replacement based on overpriced and bloated versions of freely available software.

Anyone know any details about HBOS's internal systems? Eg, how does it compare to LloydsTSB wanting IBM logos on everything, including the coffee machines regardless of cost.

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RW
Boffin

System merger dangers

They might be better off hiring rather than firing. A lot of corporate mergers have come to grief after the fact when it turned out that their IT systems were deeply incompatible.

No reason to expect these banks to be any different.

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Stop

Still going ahead?

Given this morning's huge share rallies in the banking sector, will the shareholders (either set) actually approve this now?

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Thumb Up

@LTSB couldn't bring HBOS in...

HBOS could bring LTSB in though!

HBOS internal systems are all fairly disparate, but held together reasonably well. The majority of HBOS systems are built in-house so there is a fairly good understanding of them. The current systems have brand new .NET stuff playing nicely with 20+ year old assembler systems, so we have a bit of experience getting all these things talking to each other.

There has been a lot of work in the middleware systems over the past few years to make everything properly interoperable, without directly being compatible, and we are currently looking at doing the same thing for client applications.

A lot of HBOS front end systems are currently being re-written as the technology they use is out of support, so there may be an opportunity to unify it all under this. At least make it appear one system to the users while the real consolidation work is done in the background.

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WE HAVE COMPETITION LAWS FOR A REASON

1/3 Of all mortgages and savings in one bank. WTF?

Even the Republicans in America are prepared to use government money to prevent such an situation occuring. The Republicans!!!

This is robbing Peter to pay Paul and will come back to bite us all in the arse, some time after Brown et al are out of power.

That is all.

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@still going ahead

It's an odd one, there are a large percentage of HBOS shareholders who also happen to be staff members.

The takeover may be good for lloyds/hbos, the shareholders and the banking sector in general, but, it's not going to be particularly good for the staff. If the shareprice recovers enough before the decision, then a lot of them are likely to vote against it!

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Let's not blame the government

Let's do some REAL research and ask ourselves who is really at fault? The greedy boys and girls behind all these dodgy practices (and hefty bonuses on top of wopping salaries) who took the cash and knackered the system??? Doews no-one remember Nick Leeson and other notable cases?? To blame Brown is unfair even to him. OK he didn't regulate but isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?

It was very satisfying to hear City folk bleating about the ban on Short Selling though, just goes to show how much cash there was in it eh? Look up one of the reasons staple foods are so expensive too, it'll be educational;

http://www.gnn.tv/articles/3785/The_Commodities_Bubble

all these folks making the big money while we, the plebs, end up suffering the consequences....great eh?

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