London: British lender Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on Tuesday said it was planning to cut over 300 jobs and outsourcing others to India as part of its efforts to become a “simpler, smaller UK-focused bank”.
RBS informed staff on Tuesday that it would be letting go of 154 contractors by year-end, while 180 permanent roles have been put at risk—with a total of 92 staff positions set to be axed. “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... We understand this will be difficult news for staff and we will be offering support to those affected, including redeploying people into other roles where we can,” the bank said in a statement.
The 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. Reacting to the announcement, workers’ union Unite called on the state-funded bank to impose a moratorium on the “unjustified” moving of jobs to India, believed to cover 38 technology-related roles.
“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,” said Rob MacGregor, national officer at Unite. “It is wholly inappropriate and unjustified for these technology roles to be sent offshore. 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 taxpayers’ interest,” he said.
RBS has struggled to turn an annual profit since it was bailed out with 45 billion pounds of UK taxpayers’ money at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.