RBS bank to axe 2,600 jobs in Britain

10th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain's partly-nationalised lender Royal Bank of Scotland revealed Monday that it plans to axe 2,600 more jobs, according to a company spokesperson.

The bank, 83-percent owned by the state after Europe's biggest-ever bailout during the financial crisis, plans to cut 2,000 jobs at its insurance unit that includes Green Flag, Churchill, Direct Line and Privelege.

Another 600 positions will be shed at its retail head office operations that are based in locations that include Edinburgh and London.

"We are working hard to rebuild RBS in order to repay taxpayers for their support and having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of this process," a bank spokesperson said.

"We have strived at all times to be open and honest about the tough choices we are making.

"We will do all we can to support our staff through this process and do everything possible to keep compulsory redundancy to an absolute minimum.

"So far the job losses we've announced to date have resulted in fewer than one in four people being made compulsorily redundant."

There is no time frame for the job cuts, while the bank will concentrate its efforts on avoiding compulsory redundancies, the spokesperson added.

RBS had revealed last week that its net losses narrowed to 248 million pounds (287 million euros, 364 million dollars) in the first quarter, compared with one year earlier.

The embattled bank, which was rescued at the height of the global financial crisis, had reported losses after tax of 902 million pounds in the first three months of 2009.

Since the crisis erupted, Royal Bank of Scotland has now slashed 22,600 jobs worldwide, of which about 16,600 were in Britain.

Britain's biggest trade union, Unite, said that its members would be devastated at news of the latest cuts.

"Taken together, this is a devastating blow for a dedicated workforce which has worked very hard to turn around the fortunes of RBS following some disastrous decisions by the previous management," said Unite national officer Rob MacGregor.

"Unite is completely opposed to compulsory redundancies and will be engaging continually with RBS throughout the consultation period to minimise redundancies, while calling upon the bank to manage these reductions outside of compulsory measures."

RBS was ravaged by the credit crunch and the takeover of Dutch giant ABN Amro at the top of the market in 2007.

© 2010 AFP

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