Banks push up profits on staff claims Unifi

The wave of mergers and
takeovers in the banking sector and ensuing job cuts have increased employee
profitability, according to finance sector union Unifi’s figures.

High street banks are making
up to £50,000 profit per employee – in some cases more than three times their
salaries – according to a report in the union’s in-house journal Fusion.

Recently released
figures from the big five banks reveal an average 20 per cent jump in pre-tax
profits for last year, despite continuing job losses. It shows that Barclays,
for example, made over £40,000 profit from each of its 77,000 employees last

Abbey National’s
29,000 staff produced nearly £70,000 profit each, according to the figures.

Unifi researcher David
Cowie said continued cutbacks of staff numbers were a key factor behind the
growing profit-per-employee figures. His research suggests the five largest
high street banks shed 40,000 jobs between 1994 and 1999.

Abbey National is
currently at the centre of a takeover by Lloyds TSB which, if it went ahead
would result in 9,000 job losses over a four-year period according to the
banks. A spokes- person for Abbey National said, "We don’t have a strategy
to make profits at the expense of staff. We pay at market rates, and award
appropriate benefits."

Unifi made a
submission last month to the Government’s Competition Commission opposing the
merger because it claims it would reduce jobs, branches and ultimately choice.

A Barclays
spokesperson claimed that its staff share in its profitability through share
purchase and bonus schemes.

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