In the latest example of a European bank using American-style tactics to rein in expenses, Lloyds TSB Group PLC said Friday that it would cut 4% of its work force, or 3,000 jobs, and take $321.8 million in charges this year as it consolidates certain functions for greater efficiency.

The $283 billion-asset banking company said it would centralize computer and processing functions, streamline its branch network, and automate some internal functions.

The announcement came with its earnings report. Profits rose 17% last year, to $4 billion, from the previous year.

The news also came on a day when a rival London banking company, National Westminster PLC, agreed to a $33 billion takeover by Edinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland. Many analysts said the deal could spark a wave of consolidations. A statement signed by Peter Ellwood, group chief executive of Lloyds, which has itself been an acquirer of late, said the company would "continue to seek further acquisition opportunities in both the United Kingdom and overseas."

Lloyds also said it would start a stand-alone Internet bank for Europe - initially focused on Spain -in coming months and a similar Internet-only bank for the United Kingdom by yearend.

- Liz Moyer

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