Lloyds Banking Group has announced that 650 permanent full-time jobs, including back-office roles, will be lost due to the closure of Halifax agency banking counters and an insurance site in Nottingham.

The bank is planning to phase the closure of its Halifax Independent Agency business between 4 October and 12 November 2010.

This follows a strategic review of the business, following which Lloyds decided that the agencies, which are operated by third-party businesses such as solicitors and estate agents, and offer a limited banking service, are "no longer integral" to the its business model. Since 2005, the number of agencies has nearly halved from 475 to 265 agencies.

Lloyds also announced the Nottingham insurance site closure, as well as some job cuts at various group locations, including Chester. Although it did say that some of these cut roles will be relocated to its other sites, including Warrington and Speke.

"Significant progress has been made in mitigating the total number of potential job losses through relocation, redeployment and the release of contractors and temporary staff," said the bank.

The bank also said it would honour existing contractual redundancy terms of people employed by third-party businesses operating the agencies if redundancies are made.

Although 1,859 positions are being removes, only 650 jobs will be lost thanks to relocations and redeployments.

However, Unite union claims that 17,700 jobs have now been lost at the part-nationalised bank since it was created through the merger of Lloyds TSB and Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS).

Cath Speight, Unite national officer, said: "The growing tally of 17,700 job losses since the formation of the bank is disgraceful. The scale of this cut is extreme. The bank's recovery plans are already well on course to deliver 30 per cent higher than forecast savings.

"This taxpayer-owned financial institution needs to focus on retaining the hardworking staff, not dumping them on the scrap heap."

In April, Lloyds said it was on target for £2 billion savings from the merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS, as IT, procurement and other operational changes began to deliver cost efficiencies.