As UNITElive reported last week, the taxpayer-owned bank RBS announced that a major restructuring program was on the horizon but failed to give any details.
But two unnamed sources familiar with the matter revealed to the Financial Times March 3 that up to four out of five jobs in the bank’s investment division might be decimated, amounting to a total of 14,000 job losses.
While RBS refused to comment, the sources also noted that back-office systems would be overhauled to automate them.
The looming job cuts come as the bank has posted seven straight years of profit losses – £3.5bn in this year alone, taking total losses to £50bn since 2008, when the bank received a taxpayer-funded bailout to the tune of billions.
One-off items that were part of this year’s losses included £2.2bn in conduct and litigation charges, with £320m relating to foreign exchange markets rigging and an additional £400m covering compensation for the payment protection insurance scandal.
But it looks as though it is only workers who will be facing the consequences of the disgraceful behaviour of those at the top – banker bonuses at RBS are as healthy as ever, with £421m in bonus payments made this year.
RBS boss Rob McEwan told BBC Radio 4 last week that he cannot guarantee that similar scandals won’t happen again, while also defending this year’s bonus payments, saying the figure was lower than years before.
The news confirms Unite’s fears that the restructuring programme will entail significant job losses.
Commenting when the bank initially announced the programme, Unite national officer for RBS Rob MacGregor expressed deep concern about how the restructuring will “unfairly impact low paid and administration staff within the investment banking division.
“The announcement won’t leave the wealthy traders devastated and worried about how they pay their mortgages,” he said. “It will be the worker in the back office earning £20,000 per year who now faces uncertainty about what the future holds.”
Stay tuned on UNITElive for the latest on RBS job losses as more details are revealed.