Lloyds to create 500 jobs at new tech hub in Edinburgh
Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) has announced plans to create 500 high-skilled jobs at a new digital tech hub in Edinburgh.
The bank has started recruiting software engineers and data scientists for the hub, which will be based at its Scottish Widows' headquarters.
The new roles will be phased in over the next 18 months.
LBG said it was responding to a shift in customer behaviour towards digital services.
The hub will be used to develop new technology for Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Scottish Widows customers.
The move is part of a £3bn investment announced by Lloyds last year to overhaul its digital services.
Most high street banks, including Lloyds, have been shutting branches in recent years as more customers conduct their banking through apps or on the internet.
Last year, the group earmarked more than 60 branches for closure, while in 2017 it closed dozens of Lloyds, Bank of Scotland and Halifax branches.
Lloyds said some of the roles at its new hub would be taken up by existing staff looking to upskill.
Philip Grant, chairman of LBG's Scottish executive committee, said the group was working to "strengthen our tech-based talent pool in Scotland".
He said: "People's expectations are rising rapidly as they want the same experience they're used to with established digital brands.
"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."
Scotland's Economy Secretary Derek Mackay welcomed the announcement.
He said: "Edinburgh is fast becoming one of the UK's most competitive tech hubs, with growth in agile start-ups, offerings from its world-leading universities and new digital academies providing greater scale and choice for careers in the industry.
"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."
Lloyds is already actively involved in the Edinburgh tech scene, regularly hosting digital academies and meet-ups including CodeClan and CodeBar, as well as partnerships with Fintech Scotland and HackerX.