Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to cut its technology workforce with a net reduction of 92 jobs as part of its plans to be a “simpler, smaller” bank.
An RBS spokesperson told The Scotsman: “As RBS moves towards becoming a simpler, smaller UK-focused bank, we’re continuing to restructure our back office support and reducing its size so it’s a better fit for our business. Unfortunately, these changes will result in the net reduction of 92 roles.”
The Edinburgh-based lender commented after union Unite claimed that it is letting go of 154 contractors by year-end, with 180 permanent roles put at risk. It is understood that the jobs affected are located in London and 88 permanent employees will be able to apply for other roles.
The move comes just months after chief executive Ross McEwan ordered a £2 billion four-year cost-cutting drive, which is widely expected to result in significant job losses and branch closures.
The bailed-out banking group, still 72 per cent owned by the taxpayer, is also set to face shareholders at its Gogarburn headquarters tomorrow, who are likely to challenge top management on its remuneration policies and branch closure plans.
At least two corporate governance groups have urged RBS investors to reject a new pay policy, which makes McEwan eligible for a long-term award of 175 per cent of his salary, and chief financial officer Ewen Stevenson 200 per cent.
RBS has said the aim of the new policy is to “encourage sustainable long-term performance”.
The latest job cuts are expected to affect tech staff across a number of the bank’s departments including risk solutions, digital engineering services, finance solutions, core and payments, and NatWest markets technology.
Rob MacGregor, a national officer at Unite, said the union has hit out at the bank over the job cuts and is now calling on RBS to introduce a moratorium on the offshoring of jobs.
“Unite cannot understand how RBS, which continues to be taxpayer-backed, can justify hundreds more staff cuts and continue transferring important work out of the country.
“Unite has called on RBS to halt the offshoring announcements and impose a moratorium on the offshoring of jobs.
“The loss of these jobs to India does nothing to support the well-being and livelihood of UK workers and their families. This is not in the taxpayer interest.”
The union is also pressing RBS to guarantee that there will be no forced job losses.