RBS to axe 500 jobs

ROYAL Bank of Scotland announced plans today for up to 500 job losses within its wealth management division.

RBS said the cuts will affect back office functions across the UK for its wealth management brands – Coutts, the Queen's private bank, and Adam and Co.

The majority of Adam & Co back office staff in the Group are based in Edinburgh, while most working for Coutts are based in London. It is not yet clear how many local jobs will be affected.

The jobs will go over the next three years.

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Today's news comes as part of a mammoth jobs cull at the part-nationalised group and follows less than a month after RBS announced 2,600 roles would go at its insurance and retail banking arms.

The latest blow to the bank's workforce follows moves by RBS to introduce a new technology system in its wealth management arm, which reduces the number of administration staff needed to service clients.

An RBS spokesman said the bank was doing all it could to "support our staff through this process and to keep compulsory redundancy to an absolute minimum".

But trade union Unite reacted with dismay at news of yet more job losses at RBS.

Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said: "Unite does not believe that the introduction of and investment in new technology should go hand in hand with the shedding of jobs.

"Instead RBS should focus on ensuring that their staff can continue to give customers the high levels of service they expect from the Queen's bank.

An RBS spokesperson said: "We are working hard to rebuild RBS in order to repay taxpayers for their support and having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of this process.

"Today we are announcing a major investment in our processes and technology in our Wealth Management division to help us deliver better service and a wider choice for our clients. As a result of the changes we are restructuring our operations and this will unfortunately lead to job losses. We will do all we can to support our staff through this process and to keep compulsory redundancy to an absolute minimum. So far the job losses we've announced to date have resulted in fewer than one in four people being made compulsorily redundant".

The wealth management division employs around 3,500 staff in the UK.