Government owned banking institution, the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) is believed to be cutting nearly 600 jobs in its UK retail bank Natwest during the company’s most recent cost cutting exercise.
According to sources who wished to remain anonymous, staff would be made aware on Thursday of the impending job losses. The bank is closing around 34 branches and reducing opening hours in others as CEO Ross McEwan pushes through drastic changes to reduce expenditure at the lender after eight years of losses.
The new round of redundancies totals 1,500 job losses in the bank in this year alone in its retail unit. The new cuts in the retail division are where the bank has pledged to cut every 1 in 12 jobs.
When asked about the cuts the bank said this is due to more customers banking online and stated:
“This is clearly difficult news for staff.”
“We will do everything we can to support them, including seeking redeployment opportunities wherever possible.”
The news of the job cuts comes just as Treasury permanent secretary Sir Nick MacPherson said to the Financial Times that the Government will have to make a decision on whether to sell its £19bn stake at a loss.
Eight years after being bailed out by the British government (the biggest bailout in banking history) the bank is failing to turn itself around. Due to the business’s current share price UK taxpayers at the moment stand to lose half of the 45.5 billion pounds which were funneled into the bank to avoid it defaulting.
RBS has closed more of its branches than any other bank in Britain between 2014-2015 and has also gone back on its promise not to close the last branch left in any town. According to the lender more than 4 times as many people have undertaken transactions online instead of at branches meaning not as many staff are required as visit numbers have dropped in half. According to research from UBS the existing 10,386 banks in Britain may be reduced by half as banks attempt to increase earnings as customers move online.