Unite, Britain's biggest union, has condemned RBS for 'brutal and irresponsible' behaviour by announcing 1,400 job cuts just one day after figures were released that showed UK unemployment rose by 15,000.
The cuts are part of a two year programme within the UK retail business with the details of 700 of the job cuts being confirmed today.
Warning of the impact that the cuts will have on local economies and customer service, Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: "This is brutal and irresponsible behaviour from RBS which is almost entirely owned by the taxpayer. It is high time that the banks took its social responsibilities seriously. Since the beginning of the year RBS, HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds have announced plans to slash around 6,900 jobs. The industry almost caused the economy to implode in 2008 and now it is contributing to a jobs crisis.
RBS made £826 million in the first quarter of this year, the bank is returning to profit. Unite does not believe there is a business case for cutting jobs so drastically. RBS argues that the restructure will make the bank more customer focused but a bank can't be more customer focused with 1,400 fewer staff. Unite is demanding no compulsory redundancies and we expect this state-owned bank to do everything to ensure this is the case."
There will be a significant impact on RBS staff in head office functions in Edinburgh with the rest of the cuts spread across the country. Two departments providing support to front line staff are being cut by 80 per cent. Since 2008 the bank has cut over 30,000 staff.
Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.