Woolwich and B&B axe in-house teams

The Woolwich Bank and the Bradford & Bingley Building Society are making swingeing cuts to their in-house legal teams.

Four lawyers and around 16 support staff out of the 32-person team at the Woolwich are being made redundant, while Bradford & Bingley are slashing their 26-person legal team – including lawyers and paralegals – by up to 15. The job cuts at the Woolwich reportedly arise from the bank's decision to cut 330 management positions as a pre-cursor to moving into hi-tech banking. The move will mainly affect transactional work including mortgage possession, property, arrears litigation and forfeiture which will be farmed out to external law firms.

The remaining Woolwich legal team of six lawyers, one trainee, three secretaries, a legal executive and an administrator will focus on commercial work. The soon-to-be-axed team at Bradford & Bingley were based in the Leamington Spa office which is earmarked for closure in March 2000.

External lawyers will pick up the work – mainly conveyancing and litigation – which the team was predominantly involved in.