RBS to cut 2,600 UK jobs

The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced plans to cut 2,600 jobs in the UK over the next year, with many job losses to come from its insurance arm.

The bank, in which the government has an 84% stake, is proposing to cut 2,000 jobs out of 16,000 from its insurance division which includes the brands Churchill, Direct Line, Green Flag, and Privilege.

The remaining 600 jobs will come from RBS’ retail banking arm.

RBS is being forced to sell its insurance division by the European Union under the terms of the bank’s bailout.

The proposed job losses will help prepare RBS’ insurance arm ahead of its sale in 2013.

Retail job losses will be drawn from the bank’s retail head office which acts to supports the branch operations.

Affected roles on the retail side will be sectors such as marketing and advertising, rather than customer-facing roles.

The bank also has to shed its 318-strong branch network, and as a result the bank needs less staff to support a smaller branch network.

The Unite union has condemned RBS’ proposed job cuts.

Rob MacGregor, national officer for finance at Unite, says: “Taken together, this is a devastating blow for a dedicated workforce which has worked very hard to turn around the fortunes of RBS following some disastrous decisions by the previous management.

“Unite is completely opposed to compulsory redundancies and will be engaging continually with RBS throughout the consultation period to minimise redundancies, while calling upon the bank to manage these reductions outside of compulsory measures.”

The bank had previously announced the need for 20,000 job losses across the group.