RBS to cut 700 IT staff

Royal bank of Scotland has begun the process of shrinking its IT operations, confirming 700 job cuts in the UK.

Royal bank of Scotland has begun the process of shrinking its IT operations, confirming 700 job cuts in the UK.

The move follows an announcement last month that it was to cut 9,000 jobs globally, including 4,500 in the UK. The 700 cuts are in IT and property units.

The bank is cutting jobs in its manufacturing division, which includes the bank's IT operations. The division spent £1.75bn on technology services and support last year.

RBS has been looking at ways to cut costs through common IT since it acquired Dutch bank ABN Amro. It aims to cut annual costs by £2.5bn within the next three years, partly by moving the company to a common technology platform.

Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, said, "Since the announcement by the bank in April that 4,500 people will be made redundant, staff across the company have been uncertain about their future. This confirmation for employees in the IT and property divisions that they will be the ones hit is devastating."

Barclays announced another round of IT job cuts last week in an attempt to "increase operational efficiency".

An internal Barclays e-mail revealed that the bank is planning to cut an extra 350 UK technology jobs.

Lloyds TSB, which acquired HBOS last year, announced 650 jobs this month.

Keith Brooks, general secretary at union Unite, who represents Barclays workers, said, "I do not know when banks are going to stop [cutting jobs]. There is nothing on the horizon to suggest it will stop. All I can see is further hurdles and more job cuts."

Ralph Silva, analyst at Towergroup, said banks are already operating with the minimum number of workers needed.

Nevertheless, up to 7% of IT workers in banks could lose their job this year. "If they have to make cuts, they will close entire businesses," he said.

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