RBS axes IT jobs

The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced 500 new job cuts in its wealth management division over the next three years, including IT staff.

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The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced 500 new job cuts in its wealth management division over the next three years, including IT staff.

The bank said the cuts were part of an "investment" in processes and technology, as it puts all wealth management operations onto a platform from supplier Avaloq.

The cuts follow the bank’s announcement last month of 2,600 job losses in its insurance division. At the time, RBS confirmed that IT jobs were safe.

RBS said that the job losses would comprise “predominantly” of back office roles, and would affect its Coutts & Co, RBS Coutts and Adam & Company businesses.

The latest round of job cuts comes as RBS consolidates its wealth management businesses onto a single core banking platform supplied by Avaloq. Adam and Coutts are expected to go live with the new system at the end of the year and in early 2011, respectively.

The bank said in a statement: “Today we are announcing a major investment in our processes and technology in our wealth management division to help us deliver better service and a wider choice for our clients. As a result of the changes we are restructuring our operations and this will unfortunately lead to job losses.

“We will do all we can to support our staff through this process and to keep compulsory redundancy to an absolute minimum.”

However, Rob MacGregor, national officer at Unite union, said: “Unite does not believe that the introduction of, and investment in new technology should go hand in hand with the shedding of jobs.

“Our key priority now is to avoid compulsory redundancies and Unite will ensure that RBS continues to work with the union to minimise the impact of this restructuring.”

RBS said that despite the high numbers of job cuts it has announced to date, “fewer than one in four people” have been made compulsorily redundant.

The wealth management division employs around 3,500 staff, who are based mainly in Edinburgh and London.

In its first quarter results last month, 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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