Banking giant HSBC is to axe more than 500 jobs across the country, union leaders were told today.
Unite attacked the announcement as a "disgrace", especially coming so close to Christmas.
Joint leader Derek Simpson said: "Unite is appalled that this news has been delivered so close to Christmas.
"The union has seen no business rationale for these job losses. As far as we can see, HSBC is simply using the economic downturn as an excuse to make job losses."
Unite said the bank had reported an increase in half-yearly profits recently and continued to do "very well".
It said it would oppose any compulsory redundancies.