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Lloyds lets staff choose where they want to work

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Lloyds 
Lloyds

Lloyds Banking Group is following rival NatWest with a three-tier plan to home working after the pandemic, making it the latest major bank to overhaul office life.

Britain’s biggest high street bank, which has already unveiled plans to cut 20pc of offices by 2023, has told staff that from October they can either work at home, in the office or a mix of both depending on their role.

The expectation is that about 80pc of Lloyds’ workforce will partly work from home in future, those close to the plans said.

The decision has emerged just days after taxpayer-backed lender NatWest announced a similar plan, saying that it is shifting to a three-tier approach that will likely see just 13pc of staff return to their desks full-time.

Major banks, including HSBC and Standard Chartered, have now made clear that most staff can continue working where they like after the Covid crisis following the success of home working, with firms across the Square Mile earmarking offices for closure.

Even the Bank of England, whose Governor Andrew Bailey last summer told MPs that workers must go back to their offices to support local cafes, restaurants, bars and shops, is now considering permanent home working.

In contrast Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs have said everyone must come back full-time as soon as restrictions are lifted. Goldman has already told its London employees that they must be back by June 21, the day all restrictions are due to end.

However, that could change if the Government delays its guidance around the return of workers to offices as a trade-off for lifting other restrictions. Lloyds has told its staff that it will reopen its offices once restrictions are lifted but that nobody will be forced back. Barclays' chief Jes Staley said earlier this year that future office life is going to be "somewhat of a hybrid".

Howard Dawber, head of strategy at the Canary Wharf Group, said: “We are ready for everyone to come back when the Government gives the green light.”