Two taxpayer-supported banks have been attacked for making "brutal" cuts of over 1,700 jobs and transferring 300 posts to India.

Lloyds Banking Group is cutting 1,300 jobs, while Royal Bank of Scotland is axing 464 posts, unions were told.

Unite and Accord said it was another "black day" for the finance industry and questioned why the Government was not intervening.

David Fleming, Unite national officer, said: "The announcement of 1,764 job cuts in these taxpayer-supported institutions today is truly brutal.

"How can there be any justification for the Government not intervening as these much needed jobs are lost from our struggling economy? To learn that 300 jobs are being transferred to a low wage economy adds insult to injury.

"Once more these banks are attacking some of their lowest paid staff to achieve cost savings."

Lloyds said the job losses were part of its previously-announced strategic review and would affect its group operations, executive functions, wholesale and insurance divisions.

The bank, which is 40 per cent owned by the taxpayer, said it would work through the job losses with staff in a "careful and sensitive way", using natural turnover and redeployment where possible.

"Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort," the bank said in a statement.

Ged Nichols, general secretary of Accord, said: "This is a black day for Lloyds employees. Over 30,000 Lloyds employees have lost their jobs since the bank was created with the takeover of HBOS three years ago and today LBG has announced that a further 1,600 roles will be 'removed', over 1,300 of them through redundancy, including over 300 off-shored to India.

"These employees are paying the price for the failure of others, as the Financial Services Authority's report into the collapse of HBOS made clear last week

"Yet it seems that it is business as usual in the boardroom, with an eye watering financial package for the bank's new finance director. Despite very publicly giving up his annual bonus, the chief executive has been handed £3.3 million shares under a long-term plan.”