Britain’s largest union, Unite accused the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) of pursuing a crude cost-cutting agenda at the expense of customer service as the bank announced plans that could see over 220 branch and deputy branch manager roles axed across Natwest branches in England and Wales.
Today’s (Wednesday 18 June) announcement follows the confirmed closure of 100 RBS and Natwest branches over the last six months, leading to accusations that the group has ripped up its commitment to maintain a banking service ‘where we are the last bank in town (LBiT)’.
Since the bank was bailed out by the taxpayer in 2008 over 30,000 jobs have gone across the group in the UK. The union is calling on the bank to give a no compulsory redundancies guarantee in the latest round of job cuts which could see the branch manager roles go from the end of September, as well as for the bank to rethink its plans that will see significant skills and expertise leave the branch network.
Commenting, Unite national officer Rob MacGregor, said: “These latest job losses are at odds with RBS’ commitment to improve customer service and move managers closer to the customer.
“Crude cost cutting - and not the customer - is at the heart of the bank’s plans which will mean fewer managers, further away from the customer, with less time to improve the customer experience.
“We need a relentless focus on the customer if public trust in the banking sector is to be renewed, not job losses to simply increase operating profits or the continued uncertainty that is plaguing loyal staff who have worked tirelessly to turn the bank around.
“There are major concerns around the viability of this latest restructure and the workloads for staff remaining post reorganisation.”
For further information please contact Alex Flynn head of media and campaigns on 07967 665869.
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Notes to editors
• Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.