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April 7, 2009    

9,000 jobs to go at RBS

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by Kay Murchie

It has been reported that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to axe 9,000 jobs, with 4,500 positions to go in the UK. The job losses are part of a £2.5 billion cost-cutting programme, scheduled to take place over the next two years.

The move has been described as “truly devastating” by unions.

The announcement is further bad news for the beleaguered bank which has been the subject of bad press lately.

The bank is under attack for its past mistakes and last week, Chairman Sir Philip Hampton called for an “end to the public flogging,” referring, in particular, to the £700,000 a year pension awarded to Sir Fred Goodwin, RBS’s disgraced former chief executive.

Sir Fred, along with ex-chairman of RBS, Sir Tom McKillop, have been blamed for the near collapse of the bank.

At the end of February the bank, which is now majority-owned by the taxpayer, reported a full 2008 year loss of £24.1 billion - the largest annual loss in UK corporate history.

Returning to the job losses, the cuts will affect its “Group Manufacturing” division, which comprises back office jobs.

The further reduction in headcount comes on top of the 2,700 job losses already announced.

However, the bank has stressed that the 9,000 staff will not all be under pressure to leave and has come to an agreement with British and Europe-wide unions that it will try to keep compulsory redundancies at a minimum.

The bank has a workforce of over 170,000 people, 106,000 of these work in the UK.

In related news, it has been confirmed today that RBS is to be 70.3% owned by the taxpayer.

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