Unite, the largest trade union for financial services employees, has called on the sector to step back and not repeat the mistakes of the financial crisis.

Following several reports this week about mergers and acquisitions in the sector, Unite, which represents staff across the financial services sector, has called for firms not to plunge into repeating the mistakes of the financial crisis. 

Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer said: “Daily media reports about mergers and acquisition discussions across the financial services industry is creating an atmosphere of fear and panic across the sector.

“It appears that several organisations have jumped back into the merger mania of the financial crisis 12 years ago. These discussions around takeovers and sales amid a global health and economic crisis are unwelcome and simply create more uncertainty.

“In order to avoid a re-run of the last decade in this key sector it is vital that public interest is at the top of the agenda. Massive cost cutting exercises, significant bank branch closures and job cuts will do nothing for customer service levels or confidence in this sector.

“Most banks and insurance companies have for some time been making huge cost savings at the expense of staff. Unite will not stand aside as these organisations embark on a race to become the leanest they can simply to attract aggressive buyers with no regard for customers or employees. It is clear that the public has absolutely no appetite for more mergers and acquisitions in the sector that may once again result in very gratuitous rewards for a few at the top of the sector at the expense of jobs and services.” 

This week alone the media has reported discussions about the future of Royal and SunAlliance and The Co-operative Bank.