Lloyds Banking Group is ramping up its plans to transform customers’ digital experience for customers of its four brands - Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows - by launching a major recruitment drive for a new technology hub to be set up in Edinburgh.
The financial services giant has revealed plans to hire 500 data scientists and software engineers over the next 18 months as part of a £3 billion investment announced last year to improve the bank’s digital offerings.
The group said it has 15 million customers "actively managing" their accounts online and 9 million through their mobile phones.
Lloyds Banking Group’s Scottish executive committee chair Philip Grant 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."
The new tech hub will be based at Scottish Widows’ headquarters. Grant added: "We’re working with the industry to strengthen our tech-based talent pool in Scotland, which will not only benefit customers of Lloyds Banking Group, but support the development of technology, skills and talent in the fastest growing digital economy outside London."
Scotland’s Finance Secretary Derek Mackay welcomed the move. He said: "I am delighted that Lloyds Banking Group is investing in a new tech hub in Scotland’s capital city, creating 500 new jobs.
"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."
Scotland has long stated its aim to become the data and tech capital of Europe. Last year, two of Edinburgh’s universities launched a scheme to train up to 100,000 Scots in data skills and help 1,000 businesses over the next decade.
The Data-Driven Innovation initiative – worth £661m – is part of the £1.3bn Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, and is being backed with cash from both the UK and Scottish governments.