National: Union condemns ‘brutal’ job cuts at RBS

A UNION leader today condemned as “brutal” plans by Royal Bank of Scotland to cut more than of 600 jobs from its financial planning service.

RBS, which is 82% taypayer-owned and has axed 35,500 jobs in 2008, said the latest cuts were a result of new legislation, due to take place from December 31, under which customers will be charged a fee for advice from qualified professionals, in a move designed to make financial advice more transparent.

“As a response to this, we will be reducing the number of roles by 618 across UK and creating 351 new roles,” said RBS in a statement.

“ Having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of our work to rebuild RBS and repay taxpayers for their support. We continue to make efficiencies across our business to deliver greater value to our customers and shareholders.

“We will do all we can to support our staff, offer redeployment opportunities wherever possible, keeping compulsory redundancies to an absolute minimum.”

However, David Fleming, national officer at the Unite union, said the cuts represented a 50% reduction in the financial planning department across the country.

“These latest Royal Bank of Scotland job losses are brutal,” he said. “Six hundred staff, who for some time have faced job uncertainty as the bank reviewed their jobs, have today heard the worst possible news.

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“Unite, for some time, has had major concerns about the appalling manner in which these workers at the bank have been treated. The union has continually raised with the bank the increasingly unachievable targets imposed on the workforce and is calling on it to review this redundancy procedure.

“Those losing their jobs today are a highly-skilled workforce, and the bank has refused to take into account economic factors which have impacted performance and achievability of targets.”

Mr Fleming added: “Unite will oppose all compulsory job losses and challenge the ongoing management of this area of RBS.”