RBS Said to Cut Hundreds More Jobs Across Businesses in U.K.

  • Job losses said to bring total this year to about 2,800
  • British lender says it will redeploy staff wherever possible

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is eliminating hundreds of jobs across the U.K., bringing the total announced to about 2,800 this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The majority taxpayer-owned lender is cutting about 300 administrative jobs across its commercial- and private-banking business, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The job losses come as it plans to reduce several hundred IT contractors and technology support jobs from other parts of its business, the person said.

Chief Executive Officer Ross McEwan, 58, is cutting thousands of jobs and shedding assets around the world as he attempts to resume dividends for the first time since the bank’s 45.5 billion-pound ($67 billion) taxpayer-funded bailout in 2008. His efforts are hampered by a looming U.S. settlement over the sale of mortgage-backed securities and slow progress in overhauling IT to help dispose of the lender’s Williams & Glyn consumer bank.

“As RBS becomes a smaller U.K.-focused bank, we are restructuring our support services to better align with the business we are becoming,” a spokeswoman for the Edinburgh-based bank said by e-mail. “These changes unfortunately mean some job losses. We understand how difficult this is for our staff and will be offering as much support as we can, including redeployment to other roles where possible.”

At Risk

As part of its cost-cutting drive, RBS plans to relocate about 400 administrative roles to Poland and India, said a second person with knowledge of the matter. Some 86 London-based private banking support roles will be at risk while about 50 similar posts in Bristol will be created, the person added. The RBS spokeswoman declined to confirm the specific number of job cuts, some of which were reported earlier by Reuters Tuesday.

RBS had about 92,400 employees at the end of March, according to company filings. The bank is seeking to reduce its number of office locations to reduce costs as record-low interest rates and slowing economic growth hinders profitability.

The lender has said it will leave one of its main London offices at 135 Bishopsgate, currently the home to many of its investment bankers, by the end of this year. The bank will eliminate 448 U.K. trading support roles at the securities unit, a person familiar with the matter has said. 

The bank has also previously told staff it will cut about 800 roles from its retail network as it closes 32 branches across the country, while around 550 jobs will go as the lender develops its automated investment advice service.

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