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RBS faces union backlash over plans to cut staff and offshore jobs to India

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is f acing a union backlash amid plans to cut more than 250 tech staff and offshore dozens of jobs to India.

The bank informed staff on Tuesday that it would be letting go of 154 contractors by year-end, while 180 permanent roles have been put at risk - with a total of 92 staff positions set to be axed.

It also emerged that RBS is on track to offshore 38 tech roles to India.

The move comes just months after chief executive Ross McEwan ordered a £2 billion four-year cost-cutting drive, which is widely expected to result in significant job losses and branch closures.

An RBS spokesperson said: "As RBS moves towards becoming a simpler, smaller bank UK focused bank, we're continuing to restructure our back office support and reducing its size so it's a better fit for our business.

"Unfortunately, these changes will result in the net reduction of 92 roles.

"We understand this will be difficult news for staff and we will be offering support to those affected, including redeploying people into other roles where we can".

The cuts are expected to affect tech staff across a number of the bank's departments including risk solutions, digital engineering services, finance solutions, core and payments, and NatWest markets technology.

Rob MacGregor, a national officer at Unite, said the union has hit out at the bank over the job cuts and is now now calling on RBS to introduce a moratorium on the offshoring of jobs.

"Unite cannot understand how RBS, which continues to be taxpayer-backed, can justify hundreds more staff cuts and continue transferring important work out of the country.

"It is wholly inappropriate and unjustified for these technology roles to be sent offshore. Unite has called on RBS to halt the offshoring announcements and impose a moratorium on the offshoring of jobs.

"The loss of these jobs to India does nothing to support the well-being and livelihood of UK workers and their families. This is not in the taxpayer interest."

The union is also pressing RBS - which is still 72% owned by the Government - to guarantee that there will be no forced job losses as a result.

The news comes just days before RBS faces investors at its annual general meeting in Gogarburn, Scotland on Thursday.

Shareholders in RBS are being urged to cast vote against a new remuneration policy, which makes Mr McEwan eligible for a long-term award of 175% of his salary, and finance chief Ewen Stevenson 200%.

The vote on the bank's executive pay policy will be binding.

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