The Royal Bank of Scotland is planning to cut 9,000 back office jobs, including IT, and move to a common technology platform, as part of a project to save £2.5 billion annually. Half of the job cuts will be in the UK.
The cuts will be made over the next two years, and follow on from the 2,300 UK cuts announced in February.
RBS, which is now majority owned by the taxpayer, said it wanted to minimise the number of compulsory job losses, and would attempt to redeploy some staff in other operations. It did not disclose the number of IT staff who would be affected.
The bank is also attempting to move to a common technology platform, but an RBS spokesperson did not provide further details at the time of writing. The move could be complicated by RBS’ ongoing integration with ABN Amro, which it acquired in 2007 alongside Santander and Fortis for approximately £48 billion.
Last August, RBS said it was “ahead of plan” with the complex integration of ABN Amro.
Announcing the job cuts today, Stephen Hester, chief executive at RBS, said that in order for the taxpayer to get a return on the public money pumped into RBS, “we need to cut our costs, as in all businesses, given the current recession”.
Unite, the trade union representing RBS workers, said it was “appalled” by the job cuts, adding that the employees in RBS’ back office are the “life blood of the bank”.
Rob MacGregor, national officer, said: "The news that 4,500 RBS staff in the UK are to lose their jobs is truly devastating. Unite is appalled that thousands of people, who form the backbone of the RBS operations, are to be made redundant."
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