Royal Bank of Scotland is axing another 3,500 jobs under plans to more than halve the bank's administration centres across the UK, it was announced today.
Part-nationalised RBS said the job losses would go across back office and IT functions in the business services arm - coming on top of the division's 9,000 job cuts announced last year.
The bank, which is 83% owned by the taxpayer, will close 12 of its business services centres across the UK and put three under review.
RBS said the latest jobs cull would start next year and run through to the end of 2012.
Today's UK jobs blow comes just a week after RBS revealed that 14 of its 27 offices in the Churchill and Direct Line insurance arm were being axed.
Trade union Unite described the announcement as a "horror story".
Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, said it would be a particularly "bitter pill for staff to swallow" as RBS has decided to move 500 of the jobs offshore to the Far East, India and America.
He said: "The scale of the cuts announced today beggars belief and staff across the country today will be left reeling from this news."
All the 3,500 cuts announced will affect the bank's UK administration workforce. RBS said it had almost completed the 9,000 job losses first revealed last year, of which 4,500 were in the UK.
The business services division previously employed around 45,000 globally.
The bank will retain 10 back office centres, but those in the following sites will be affected: Leeds, Bolton, Enfield, Harrogate, Bristol, Borehamwood, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Plymouth, Telford, Bradford and Norwich.
RBS said around a third of the job cuts come as a direct result of the sale of 318 branches to Santander, which it was ordered to offload by the European Commission.
RBS said: "Having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of our work to rebuild RBS and repay taxpayers for their support.
"We continue to make efficiencies across our business and adjust our plans in line with the divestments we have been required to make by the European Union."
In Scotland, the company's centre in Greenock and Drummond House in Edinburgh will see an increase in jobs over the next two years as a result of the announcement today.
Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: "There is no ducking the fact that this is unwelcome news for RBS and those whose jobs are affected.
"It follows other poor news from the Scottish financial services sector and other employers recently. Along with ministerial colleagues, I am actively engaged in efforts to strengthen the sector and the economy as a whole.
"We are in contact with the chief executives of RBS and other affected companies in Scotland. The industry has gone through many changes and has a great underlying strength, but is clearly adapting to new circumstances. We are all working to ensure it will emerge stronger and more secure for the future."
Meanwhile, Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "We understand that the overall impact of today's announcement for Scotland in terms of employment is neutral, although we are of course very concerned for RBS employees who may be adversely affected and their families."
Mr Swinney welcomed news that there were no closures in Scotland, and added that the Scottish Government would continue to liaise with the company "to ensure that employment opportunities in Scotland are maximised".
He added: "The Scottish Government will continue to support Scotland's financial services industry in maintaining its real strengths and in adapting to change."Reuse content