RBS '˜to axe thousands of jobs in £1bn cost-cutting drive'

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is drawing up plans to cut more than £1 billion in costs by axing thousands of jobs and closing branches, according to reports.

Royal Bank of Scotland's base at Gogarburn in Edinburgh. Picture: Greg Macvean

Senior figures at taxpayer-owned RBS are due to reveal plans to meet profit targets alongside annual results on 24 February.

The Sunday Times, citing an unidentified analyst, said the group would need to cut 15,000 jobs.

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An RBS spokeswoman, who declined to comment on the plans, said of the Times article: “We do not recognise this report.”

A plan by RBS chief executive officer Ross McEwan to lower the bank’s cost-to-income ratio to below 50 per cent by 2020 was undermined after the Bank of England cut interest rates last year.

Analysts at UBS group last night told clients that Mr McEwan would probably need to remove about £1bn of annual expenses to reach the target.