The bank, which is 72 per cent owned by the taxpayer, is mulling over changes to its operating model that would result in an overall reduction in IT roles.
An RBS spokesman 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.”
However, RBS insisted that it has not consulted on any headcount reduction, instead stating that its plans represent a “direction of travel”.
“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,” the bank said.
According to the Unite union, the cuts will amount to a 65% reduction of contractors at the lender’s London IT function by 2020.
Unite branded the move, which it says could see 650 permanent staff and 230 contractors axed, as “wholly unacceptable”.
Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, said: “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.
“This British taxpayer-funded bank should be concentrating on investing in jobs here in the UK, rather than wholesale cuts.”