Union claims RBS to cut 880 tech jobs

The union Unite said Royal Bank of Scotland has told staff that it will cut a further 40% of permanent staff from its London IT function by 2020.

“Unite understands that this, coupled with the 65% reduction of contractors announced today, will total a reduction of 880 staff,” said the union.

RBS was bailed out by the UK government for about £45.5 billion during the financial crisis and the UK taxpayer still owns about 71% of the Edinburgh-based banking group.

On August 4, RBS posted an attributable profit of £939 million for the first half of 2017 compared to a £2 billion loss in the same period last year.

Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, said: “Royal Bank of Scotland is continuing with its savage jobs culling program with today’s announcement of a 40% cut in IT staff, totalling nearly 900 staff.

“The decade of slashing jobs has done nothing to boost morale, increase consumer confidence or improve the bank’s performance.

“By 2020 just a fraction of the RBS IT function will remain, leaving this organisation operating a skeleton service with the customers and remaining staff paying the price.

“RBS’s fixation with cutting employee numbers, restructuring and offshoring work that could reasonably be done by displaced staff within the RBS IT community is unacceptable.

“This British-taxpayer funded bank should be concentrating on investing in jobs here in the UK, rather than wholesale cuts.”

An RBS spokesman told the UK’s Press Association: “Inevitably as RBS becomes a simpler, smaller bank focused on the UK and Ireland, our technology function will undergo reorganisation and will reduce over time.

“As we develop long term plans for our technology business, we have in the interests of transparency started to share our emerging proposals on a future operating model.”

However, RBS insisted that it has not consulted on any headcount reduction, instead stating that its plans represent a “direction of travel”.

“Our proposed plans are designed to reduce the number of contractors we employ and strengthen our permanent workforce, and while we are downsizing in London we are reinvesting in other UK hubs,” the bank said.