Lloyds Banking Group is planning to open a technology hub in Edinburgh, which could create up to 500 high-skilled jobs.
Based at the Scottish Widows Headquarters, new positions are expected to be created over the next 18-months and will focus on developing technology for other brands in the group, which include Halifax and Bank of Scotland.
A recruitment drive for data scientists and software engineers at the facility has already been launched by the banking group. Current Lloyds staff will also have the opportunity to apply for some of the new roles.
The move is part of a £3 billion investment in digital technology and banking services which was announced by the group last year. In November 2018, Lloyds confirmed a major restructuring of its workforce, with around 2,000 new digital technology roles expected to be created from this.
While 6,000 jobs are predicted to be cut from the bank, Lloyds said at the time that around 8,000 could be created within two years.
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Lloyds’ investment marks a shift toward digitally-focused services, which many other high street banks are currently pursuing. In 2017, dozens of branches under the Lloyds umbrella were closed.
Philip Grant, chairman of Lloyds Banking Group’s Scottish executive committee, said the bank hopes to enhance its “tech-based talent pool” in Scotland.
Long-term, this will benefit the bank’s customers while supporting the development of “technology, skills and talent in the fastest growing digital economy outside London,” he added.
“People’s expectations are rising rapidly as they want the same experience they’re used to with established digital brands,” Grant said. “In our tech labs, we are designing what customers will need in the future, making products and services that can adapt to their lives and making it easier for them to connect with their finances.”
The Scottish Government welcomed the announcement from Lloyds, with Economy Secretary Derek Mackay underlining the strength of Scotland’s finance and technology sectors.
“Edinburgh is fast becoming one of the UK’s most competitive tech hubs, with growth in agile startups, offerings from its world-leading universities and new digital academies providing greater scale and choice for careers in the industry,” he said.
“Lloyds’ investment will be a major boost towards growing the workforce of the future in Scotland, helping create a more dynamic and innovative side to its thriving financial sector.”