British retail lender Lloyds Banking Group
The bank said the move was due to changes in customers' banking habits. AFP

British retail lender Lloyds Banking Group on Thursday announced a net reduction of almost 800 jobs, as it slashes branch staff but boosts customer services.

Lloyds said in a statement that it will slash about 1,600 jobs across its branch network.

However, it will also create some 830 jobs for staff to talk to customers in branches, through video meetings or over the phone. That will give a net reduction of around 769 positions.

The latest overhaul is part of LBG's ongoing strategy as customers increasingly shun high-street facilities and bank via laptops and mobile phones.

"As more customers choose to manage their day-to-day banking online, it's important our people are available when it matters most," said an LBG spokesperson.

"We're introducing a number of new roles and making changes to our branch teams so our customers can see us how and when they want to."

The lender, which owns Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, added that just eight percent of customers visit bank branches as the sole way to manage their money.

More than 21 million LBG customers use online or mobile banking, it added.

Most major UK banks slashed branch numbers and staff as customers embraced online services, particularly in the wake of the Covid pandemic.