RBS to shed 1400 jobs

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   By a Newsnet reporter

The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced that it is to cut 1400 jobs from its retail banking head offices between now and 2015.

Around half the job losses will be at the bank’s administrative headquarters at Gogarburn in Edinburgh, the bank has confirmed that no front line staff dealing directly with customers will be axed.

Most of the remaining job losses will be at the bank’s offices in London.  Jobs will be lost from the bank’s marketing, communications and support divisions.  The latest round of job losses will bring the total number of jobs lost at the bank to almost 39,000 since the bank was forced to request a bailout in 2008. 

In a statement, Ross McEwan, the chief executive of RBS’s UK retail operations, said:

“To serve our customers well, we have to ensure that our resources are focused on the things that matter most to them.

“Regrettably, we can only do that by restructuring the way we work in head office, so that every effort is concentrated on supporting our customers and the frontline staff that serve them.

“This is clearly difficult news for our staff and we will do everything we can to support them, including seeking redeployment opportunities wherever possible to ensure compulsory redundancies are a last resort.”

Unions have condemned the job loss plan.  Dominic Hook, a national officer with the Unite union which represents many of the affected staff said: 

“This is brutal and irresponsible behaviour from RBS which is almost entirely owned by the taxpayer.

“It is high time that the banks took their social responsibilities seriously. Since the start of the year RBS, HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds have announced plans to slash about 6,900 jobs. The industry almost caused the economy to implode in 2008 and now it is contributing to a jobs crisis.”

Commenting on the announcements surrounding RBS job cuts, Colin Keir, MSP for Edinburgh Western where the bank’s HQ is located, said:

“This is devastating news and I understand that the bank have spoken to the Scottish Government who are acting as quickly is as possible to ensure that appropriate support can be brought in to minimise the impact and soften the blow for the people concerned.

“The staff facing this terrible news are not the ones who caused the crisis at RBS but members of staff with mortgages and everyday budgets and expenses – and many of them are my constituents. I met RBS this afternoon and have discussed how they will support staff through this difficult time.

“Whilst this news is deeply disappointing the long term investment being announced for Gogarburn, highlights the strength of business locating in Scotland, and I hope this will increase long term security for RBS employees. My thoughts are with the people who are experiencing losses today.”