Call for Government to intervene as banks transfer jobs to India
LLOYDS Banking Group and RBS were today attacked for making “brutal” cuts of over 1,700 jobs and transferring 300 posts to India.
Lloyds is cutting 1,300 jobs, while RBS is axing 464 posts, unions were told.
Unite and Accord said it was another “black day” for the finance industry and questioned why the Government was not intervening.
David Fleming, Unite national officer, said: “The announcement of 1,764 job cuts in these taxpayer-supported institutions today is truly brutal. How can there be any justification for the Government not intervening as these much needed jobs are lost from our struggling economy? To learn that 300 jobs are being transferred to a low wage economy adds insult to injury.
“Once more these banks are attacking some of their lowest paid staff to achieve cost savings. Today is yet another devastating day for bank workers as they witness these institutions pressing ahead with massive job cuts, without any consideration as to the consequences for these individuals, their families and the economy as a whole.”
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Mr Fleming added: “Only last week we saw massive bonuses being announced for the top bankers in these companies, yet now they have the audacity to claim efficiency savings are essential. Instead of taking away a worker’s livelihood these banks should focus on adjusting and correcting the mind-blowing bonuses at the top of the organisation.”
Unite said RBS, which is 82% taxpayer funded, is to cut 464 staff from its Private Banking Direct, including the closure of an office in Bristol and losses in other areas including Wimbledon, Leeds and Edinburgh.
RBS said: “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.
“We strive at all times to be open and honest about the tough choices we are making and we remain committed to providing our customers with the same high level of service as we make changes to our Private Banking Direct structure.
“We will do all we can to support our people, offer redeployment opportunities wherever possible and keep compulsory redundancies to an absolute minimum.”
Unite said that since the start of the financial crisis, Lloyds has cut some 28,600 workers and RBS around 26,000.
Lloyds said the job losses were part of its previously-announced strategic review and would affect its group operations, executive functions, wholesale and insurance divisions.
The bank, which is 40% owned by the taxpayer, said it would work through the job losses with staff in a “careful and sensitive way”, using natural turnover and redeployment where possible.
“Compulsory redundancies will always be a last resort,” the bank said in a statement.
Ged Nichols, general secretary of Accord, said: “This is a black day for Lloyds employees. Over 30,000 Lloyds employees have lost their jobs since the bank was created with the takeover of HBOS three years ago and today LBG has announced that a further 1,600 roles will be ‘removed’, over 1,300 of them through redundancy, including over 300 off-shored to India.
“These employees are paying the price for the failure of others, as the Financial Services Authority’s report into the collapse of HBOS made clear last week
“Yet it seems that it is business as usual in the boardroom, with an eye watering financial package for the bank’s new finance director. Despite very publicly giving up his annual bonus, the chief executive has been handed £3.3 million shares under a long-term plan.
“Accord believes that there is a real danger that the continued haemorrhaging of jobs will have a negative impact on customer service. In particular the union is concerned that nearly 500 experienced training staff, who provide critically important face to face learning, will be replaced by computer based training programmes.
“In addition, the union believes that UK taxpayers will find it difficult to believe that a bank which is over 40% owned by the UK taxpayers should think it is in the public interest to make over 300 UK taxpayers redundant and off-shore their roles to India.
“It is difficult to see how the Lloyds Banking Group is going to restore the confidence of its staff and customers unless it changes course and starts to invest for the future and tries to make its people feel valued and respected.”