Coutts, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) unit best known as the Queen's banker, is to bear the brunt of a round of 500 job cuts at the state-owned bank's wealth-management operation. The redundancy programme, which brings the total number of job losses announced at RBS since the bank was bailed out by the taxpayer to 23,100, will also extend to Adam & Company, which also provides wealth-management services.
RBS, now 84 per cent-owned by the taxpayer, has been frantically cutting costs as it tries to put the financial crisis behind it and restore profitability. "We are announcing a major investment in our processes and technology in our wealth-management division to help us deliver better service and a wider choice for our clients," it said yesterday. "As a result of the changes, we are restructuring our operations and this will unfortunately lead to job losses."
Although fewer than one in four of the cuts announced by RBS have been compulsory redundancies, unions have become increasingly unhappy about the scale of the job losses at the bank. Unite pointed out yesterday that Coutts had made an operating profit of more than £400m last year.
"Unite does not believe that the introduction of, and investment in, new technology should go hand in hand with the shedding of jobs," it said. "Instead RBS should focus on ensuring their staff can continue to give customers the high level of service they expect from the Queen's bank."