Lloyds Banking Group is to halt its decision to close its 164-strong Cheltenham & Gloucester branch network, less than three months after announcing the move.

Lloyds, which is 43.5% owned by the taxpayer, is to review the June decision, saying its branches will now stay open after their planned closure date of November in a move which will see 833 staff keep their jobs.

The bank refused to say why it had made the U-turn but it is thought to be connected to its recent application to the European Commission for state aid approval.

Financial Times