Yorkshire Bank to axe 300 jobs in Leeds

Yorkshire Bank, one of the UK's top regional banks, is axing 300 jobs at its head office in Leeds. The job cuts, announced yesterday, follow a review which the bank claimed was aimed at keeping its business competitive.

The bank said it would aim to achieve the cutback by re-deployment, voluntary severance and normal staff turnover. However, compulsory redundancies were not ruled out.

The move was bitterly attacked yesterday by Keith Brookes, assistant secretary at Bifu, the banking union. He said: "These are the biggest job cuts we have ever faced in the Yorkshire Bank and our fear is that this is just the beginning. Staff are being forced to pay the price for a relentless drive to give even bigger bonuses to shareholders."

Yorkshire Bank's chief executive, Tom Gallagher, said the cuts followed developments in information technology at the Leeds office, where 1,550 people work.

"Our review of the head office structure will enable the bank to maintain its position as a competitive financial services player in what is an increasingly fast-moving market," he said.

Talks will be held with staff over the next few weeks about the job losses, which add to the 100,000 jobs axed from the banking industry over the last five years.

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