The Royal Bank of Scotland was under fire today for axing another 120 jobs in Edinburgh and transferring the work to India while still paying massive bonuses to investment bankers.
The bank, 82 per cent owned by the taxpayer, said it would cut the posts at Gogarburn and the Gyle as part of plans to “streamline” its operations. Most of the jobs are lower-paid, back-office roles.
Just last month, RBS announced its 17,000 bankers would share bonuses of £390 million despite making losses of £2 billion last year. Lothians Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale said: “It seems like those at the top of RBS continue to enjoy the good life while the rank and file workers take the pain.”
RBS will cut 215 full-time jobs in total from its finance division, including 80 part-time posts, with much of the work set to be moved to India.
A statement from RBS said cutting jobs was “the most difficult part” of efforts to rebuild the bank after its near-collapse in the 2008-2009 finance crisis.
David Fleming, Unite national officer, claimed 300 jobs were being cut and 200 “shipped” to India, and described the announcement as “outrageous”. He said: “These highly-skilled workers in the finance function of the bank can earn as little as £22,500 per year, yet the group is choosing to make short-term cost savings by cutting hundreds of staff.
“Instead of sending financial services work from the UK to a low-wage economy, RBS should be ensuring their workforce is able to get on with the work they do so well.
“Unite is involved in a major dispute with RBS over their failure to offer their staff a reasonable pay rise. There appears to be a deep hypocrisy in this organisation where the city bankers continue to be patted on the back, while staff are being sacked and getting no recognition for their contribution.”
A member of Ratho and District Community Council, which includes RBS’ Gogarburn headquarters within its boundaries, said: “There have been so many redundancies recently and this is yet another set. With unemployment at the level it is, it’s really bad that jobs are being lost in the area and in the city.”
A spokesman for RBS said: “As we work to rebuild RBS, we continue to streamline our business to ensure that we remain competitive.
“We have embarked on a three-year transformation programme across our finance division which will increase efficiency and allow us to serve our customers better.
“The movement of roles between countries reflects the global nature of our business and the need to locate our people close to the customers they serve.”