Royal Bank of Scotland axes 3,500 jobs

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Britain's state-rescued lender Royal Bank of Scotland said Thursday it was cutting another 3,500 jobs, sparking anger from union bosses.

An RBS company spokesman told AFP that "3,500 job losses have been announced in the business services division," which comprises back-office functions such as IT and payment operations.

The lender is shutting 12 of its business services centres at locations across Britain, including Harrogate, Leeds and Liverpool in northern England and Borehamwood, Bristol and Plymouth in the south.

RBS, which is 83-percent state-owned after receiving the world's biggest banking bailout amid the recent financial crisis, added that the jobs would go between 2011 and 2012.

About one third of the 3,500 job losses are connected to the 318 RBS branches recently sold to Spanish banking giant Santander.

RBS has now axed 23,100 jobs since October 2008 when the bank was ravaged by the global financial crisis and rescued by taxpayers. The majority of the losses have been in Britain.

"Having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of our work to rebuild RBS and repay taxpayers for their support," the group said in a statement on Thursday.

"We continue to make efficiencies across our business and adjust our plans in line with the divestments we have been required to make by the European Union.

"We will do all we can to support our staff, offer redeployment opportunities wherever possible and keep compulsory redundancies to an absolute minimum," RBS added.

© 2010 AFP

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