Lloyds Banking Group confirmed that it will axe 9,000 jobs and close 150 branches over the next three years, after rumours circulated about a workforce cull.

The 25% government-owned bank, which owns Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, confirmed the jobs cull only a day after the lender was found to have narrowly avoided failing the European Banking Authority's (EBA) stress test.

It also reported pre-tax profits of £1.61bn (€2bn, $2.6bn) for the nine months to 30 September.

Lloyds disposed of more than 630 branches through its flotation of the TSB business earlier this year, and operates around 2,000 branches across the UK through its remaining Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and Halifax brands.

Lloyds is still under pressure to reduce costs and buoy up its balance sheet as it tries to return to privatisation after the state pumped £20.5bn into it during the 2008 and 2009 credit crisis.

It has since shelled out around £11bn to compensate payment protection insurance victims and today it confirmed that it has set aside another £900m to deal with the scandal.

Lloyds has already stumped up £200m to deal with Libor fixing investigations and has pledged to spend £1bn in digital technology investment after a raft of IT glitches.

Most recently, the EBA stress tests – which assessed how much of a cash buffer zone a lender has on its balance sheet in order to withstand another financial crisis – showed that Lloyds has a core Tier 1 capital ratio of 6.2%, which is only just above the 5.5% minimum required under new banking rules.