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August 15, 2017

RBS plans to axe 880 London IT jobs, says Unite

An expected 40% reduction of permanent staff from the bank's London IT function.

By James Nunns

The Royal Bank of Scotland is said to be planning a large scale cut of its IT staff in London.

That’s according the union Unite, which said that the bank had told staff that it will be cutting 40% of its permanent staff from its London IT function by 2020.

Unite said: “Unite understands that this, coupled with the 65 per cent reduction of contractors announced today, will total a reduction of 880 staff.”

This isn’t the first time that RBS, which the state owns the majority of around 71%, has cut jobs, with it being revealed in June that 443 RBS jobs were being cut in the UK and moved to India.

The bank is said to have employed 2,200 IT staff in 2016 but this number will be just 950 full time staff by 2020.

Read more: Machine learning and robotics to take 30% of bank jobs

Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, said: “Royal Bank of Scotland is continuing with its savage jobs culling program with today’s announcement of a 40 per cent cut in IT staff, totalling nearly 900 staff. The decade of slashing jobs has done nothing to boost morale, increase consumer confidence or improve the bank’s performance.

“By 2020 just a fraction of the RBS IT function will remain, leaving this organisation operating a skeleton service with the customers and remaining staff paying the price.

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“RBS’s fixation with cutting employee numbers, restructuring and offshoring work that could reasonably be done by displaced staff within the RBS IT community is unacceptable. This British-taxpayer funded bank should be concentrating on investing in jobs here in the UK, rather than wholesale cuts.”

The union said that it believes the job cuts will “sap morale, productivity, and faith in the company,” with the staff reductions placing further pressure on the remaining staff.

An RBS spokesperson said: “Inevitably as RBS becomes a simpler, smaller bank focused on the UK and Ireland, our technology function will undergo reorganisation and will reduce over time. As we develop long-term plans for our technology business, we have, in the interests of transparency, started to share our emerging proposals on a future operating model with Unite.

Read more: Microsoft reportedly axing ‘thousands’ of jobs in plans to boost cloud computing sales

“We have not consulted on any headcount reduction, instead sharing a direction of travel with Unite which is subject to change. Our proposed plans are designed to reduce the number of contractors we employ and strengthen our permanent workforce and while we are downsizing in London we are reinvesting in other UK hubs.”

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