IT staff at RBS’s investment arm face the risk of redundancy as the bank outlines the possibility of cutting thousands of jobs as it moves away from investment banking.
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Reports suggest that up to 10,000 jobs could be lost, but an RBS spokesman said the reports are "inaccurate".
The state-owned bank had already started to reduce IT staffing levels in the business unit in the lead-up to Christmas. One IT worker said during the final months of 2011 there had been redundancies and reductions in the number of contractors used.
The bank’s investment arm has been shrinking since the credit crunch. A source said there will be thousands of cuts, but the figure will probably be closer to 5,000.
In October, an internal e-mail at RBS’s investment banking business revealed possible cuts to its technology budgets. The e-mail, which was leaked to the BBC, revealed 11 areas where there is an "opportunity to reduce spend".
The e-mail from CFO Chris Kyle said the investment unit needed to cut more costs. "As we head into the last quarter, there is a current need to further tighten and minimise the rate of spend on non-staff costs. The cost category governance forum has highlighted areas of opportunity to reduce spend," it read.
The bank said at the time that there would be a freeze on hardware and software spending for the rest of 2011 and approval for spending would have to be made by senior executives, while all contractors and technical specialists were to be forced to take a two-week holiday at the end of December 2012.
David Fleming national officer at union Unite said: "[We] are disgusted that the workforce of RBS has today read in the media that further job losses are being considered. This constant speculation and rumour is highly concerning for those who work for RBS."
"Unite is today writing to management to call on them to engage with Unite ... on their plans for RBS in the UK," he added. "It is vital that they develop a strategy for saving jobs at all levels."