The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced it will cut 3,700 jobs at its branches.
This represents 14% of the total 25,700 workforce employed between Natwest’s 1,618 branches and RBS’s 650 branches. The announcement follows the axing of 10,000 back-office jobs earlier in the year.
The part-nationalised bank has cut 19,700 jobs worldwide this year, but experts have warned this could rise to 25,000 once a strategic review – currently under way – is completed, the Daily Telegraph reported.
A spokesman for the bank said the cutbacks were necessary because RBS had “30% more staff carrying out administrative duties than its competitors”.
Under the plan those made redundant will not leave the company until May 2010.
The spokesman said: “We have under invested in the branch network in terms of processes. We are now improving them as part of a £6bn group-wide investment programme. We need to improve processes so staff can concentrate on customers.”
But the union Unite condemned the cuts as absolute madness and said the move was short-sighted.
The union’s national officer, Rob MacGregor, said: “For RBS to announce the cut of 3,700 frontline bank staff from their high street branches across the UK is absolute madness.
“The staff hit by this decision will be among the lowest-paid within RBS, some of the longest-serving and most loyal, who have worked in the local branch network for many years.”