NatWest-RBS cuts 500 jobs, closes London office

NatWest — formerly known as RBS — is eliminating at least 500 jobs across its retail operation and closing one of its remaining offices in London.

Unite, the union, told Reuters the bank is finalising a voluntary redundancy round targeting 550 full-time equivalent roles across its branches and “premier banking” premium service.

A NatWest spokesman confirmed the redundancies.

“We have to respond to changing customer behaviour and the rising customer demand for digital banking services,” said the spokesman.

“We have taken the decision to invite applications for voluntary redundancy and will support those colleagues who apply with a comprehensive support package.

“There will be no compulsory redundancy as a result of this announcement.”

NatWest is closing its Regents House office in the Angel area of north London — home to one of the bank’s biggest tech hubs with space for 2,500 workers.

“Our ways of working had been evolving, even before the coronavirus pandemic,” said a NatWest spokeswoman.

“We have been reviewing our London property strategy to better reflect how we will work in the future.

“As a result, we will exit Regents House, and will reconfigure our London remaining properties at 250 Bishopsgate and 440 Strand.”

Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said: “Tens of thousands of people working for banks have risen to the challenge that the pandemic created.

“The banks’ response should not be a repeat of the austerity measures that we saw after the financial crisis.”

NatWest-RBS was rescued in a £45.5 billion bailout in 2008 by the UK government, which still owns 62.4% of the bank. 

Shares in the bank were bought by the UK government at roughly 500p in the bailout — and shares in the group currently trade around 120p.