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RBS to axe 3,500 IT and back office jobs

New wave of job cuts to affect 15 offices across the UK

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Royal Bank of Scotland has announced 3,500 job cuts from its UK-based technical and back office division.

Around 1,000 IT support roles and 2,500 roles in Business Services operations will be axed from next year. This is despite the bank reporting a growth in operating profit in the second quarter of 2010, helped by technology cost savings.

The bank has also told staff that up to 12 offices could close in England. Some jobs will be added to its offices in Edinburgh and Greenock.

RBS’s offices in Enfield, Bolton, Leeds and Harrogate are due to be closed or downsized in 2011.

The bank's offices in Bradford, Telford, Norwich, Milton Keynes, Plymouth, Liverpool, Borehamwood and Bristol may suffer the same fate the following year.

Meanwhile, RBS’s offices in Southampton, Nottingham and Leicester are “under review”.

According to the BBC, a third of the job cuts are due to the bank selling 318 of its branches to Santander, which has led to a fall in the number of customers and transactions. The sale is expected to take around 12 to 18 months to complete.

Rob MacGregor, Unite union national officer, has described RBS’s move as a "horror story".

"It will be a specially bitter pill for staff to swallow as RBS has decided to move some of the jobs abroad to the Far East, India and America,” he said.

In June, RBS  announced 500 new job cuts in its wealth management division over the next three years, which included IT staff.

In its first quarter results in May, RBS had warned that there would be more job losses as it aims to deliver £2.5 billion cost reductions by 2011. The bank has announced over 23,000 redundancies across its worldwide business since it was bailed out by the UK government in 2007. It is 84 percent-owned by taxpayers.

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