RBS attacked for 'streamlining'


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The Independent Online

A leading bank was attacked by union leaders today for axing hundreds more jobs under plans to "streamline" its business.

Royal Bank of Scotland, which is 82% owned by the taxpayer, said 215 jobs will be cut in its finance division.

The bank said in a statement: "As we work to rebuild RBS we continue to streamline our business to ensure that we remain competitive. We have embarked upon a three-year transformation programme across our finance division which will increase efficiency and allow us to serve our customers better.

"This includes looking at our global footprint. The movement of roles between countries reflects the global nature of our business and the need to locate our people close to the customers they serve.

"Having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of our work to rebuild RBS. We will do all we can to support our staff, offer redeployment opportunities where possible and to keep compulsory redundancies to an absolute minimum.

"We remain committed to our long-standing principle of situating customer contact work within the country or region where the customer is located."

David Fleming, Unite national officer, claimed that 300 jobs were being cut, and 200 "shipped" to India, describing the news as "outrageous".

He said: "These highly skilled workers in the finance function of the bank can earn as little as £22,500 per year, yet the group is choosing to make short-term cost savings by cutting hundreds of staff.

"Instead of sending financial services work from the UK to a low wage economy, RBS should be ensuring their workforce is able to get on with the work they do so well. Why is RBSawarding the investment bankers massive bonuses yet sacking thousands of workers?

"Unite is currently involved in a major dispute with RBS over their failure to offer their staff a reasonable pay rise. There appears to be a deep hypocrisy in this organisation where the city bankers continue to be patted on the back, while staff are being sacked and getting no recognition for their contribution."

Unite said the main impact of the announcement will be in Edinburgh and London.