Merged bank recruits staff for new business division

HBOS
bank is recruiting 1,500 staff over the next three years to its Business
Banking division.

The
company, which is the result of September’s merger between the Bank of Scotland
and Halifax, aims to break into the English small and medium-sized enterprise
market.

Business
Banking employs 5,000 people and has a third of the Scottish SME market –
compared to only 3 per cent in England.

Over
500 new business managers will be recruited, along with around 400 relationship
managers, customer service and operational support staff and directors.

David
Fisher, manager director of HR for Business Banking, said, "It might be
strange to see such a big recruitment drive after the events of 11 September.
But we believe that the economy is not in that bad a state.

"SMEs
have not been affected by any downturn in the economy in-fact it is going well
for SMEs."

When
the two banks merged last month, 2,000 jobs losses where announced. Fisher said
that Business Banking would attempt to employ HSOB staff from other areas of
the business who face redundancy.

"Every
effort will be made to keep a member of staff if they are capable. Our aim is
to really shake up the SME market in England. To challenge the top four banks,
we must keep our very best staff.

"It
is hoped that we will be able to bring over half the 1,500 people required on board
by the middle of next year. By using the three-year structured recruitment
programme, we intend to attract and train some of the very best people in the
industry.

"While
we are putting a strong focus on external recruitment of business bankers, we
are also looking for experienced internal candidates across the wider HBOS
Group."

By Paul Nelson

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