Belfast Telegraph

RBS owner seeking more 'attractive' financial returns after restructuring

By John Mulgrew

The boss of Ulster Bank owner Royal Bank of Scotland said the "heaviest restructuring" of the bank will be behind it by the end of the year.

Ross McEwan told shareholders at the bank's annual general meeting that it will be able to focus on targeting "attractive, balanced and sustainable financial returns" in 2017.

His comments come as union the Irish Bank Officials' Association (IBOA) called on Mr McEwan to intervene in an ongoing dispute with Ulster Bank and its members.

It says Ulster Bank is passing on pension scheme contributions of £1m a year to its workforce. It says this will hit 1,500 members of the defined benefit pension scheme.

IBOA general secretary, Larry Broderick, said the "proposal by Ulster Bank management is unacceptable". "This is an employer cost and should not be passed on to workers. Our members are successfully contributing to the recovery of this bank and to rebuilding trust and quality customer service."

A spokesman for Ulster Bank's parent company RBS has previously said that "reforms made to defined benefit pensions mean that the costs of our own scheme have risen". "As a result RBS is proposing to increase the cost of being a member."

Mr McEwan said the bank will need to find £800m worth of savings this year, as it presses ahead with cost-cutting plans.

Belfast Telegraph