Hill Samuel will be integrated into the Lloyds TSB Group as a specialist overseas property finance services company, a top-level review has concluded. A senior Lloyds Bank official yesterday dismissed rumours that last December's TSB Group and Hill Samuel subsidiary merger with Lloyds Bank would result in mass sackings and the winding down of Hill Samuel in Asia. Lloyds Bank offshore banking director Tony Jesseman said Hill Samuel would be retained as a specialist overseas property services business with Lloyds Bank concentrating on private banking. Mr Jesseman played down the prospect of sackings, claiming any reductions would be limited to back-room and administrative staff. Hill Samuel's 125 local staff and Lloyds Bank's complement of 14 will be integrated at Hill Samuel's new office in Pacific Place. The local board will be headed by Geoff McEnery, now managing director of Hill Samuel Asia, and Stephen Richards-Evans, the head of Lloyds Asia. Mr McEnery will report back to Mr Jesseman, who is based in Britain. The expanded Lloyds TSB Group has a worldwide staff of more than 85,000, providing personal and commercial banking and other financial services to 15 million customers. Hill Samuel has developed a niche operation providing property finance and related personal financial services, from insurance to investment. Hill Samuel will concentrate on property activities, third-party investment services and some related products. Overall fund management will be centralised in London under Hill Samuel Asset Management, which will have assets of about US$43 billion. Lloyds Bank is likely to offer Hill Samuel services akin to those that its British outlets offer Cheltenham and Gloucester, the British building society it took over. Mr Jesseman said: 'It is a merger of cultures.'