The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced that it will shed 618 jobs across the UK as a direct result of the retail distribution review. The review introduces more stringent rules on the sales of financial products to customers leaving less duties for the staff.
The Bank, which is 82% owned by the UK government after a bail out during the banking crisis has said that only 267 actual jobs would be lost in total as it is creating 351 new roles to reflect the changes.
The job cuts by the bank bring the total number of jobs it has shed since 2008 to 35,500. Unions have branded the decision by RBS as brutal and that they will oppose any compulsory redundancies.
Unite national officer David Fleming said: “These latest Royal Bank of Scotland job losses are brutal. Six hundred staff, who for some time have faced job uncertainty as the bank reviewed their jobs, have today heard the worst possible news.”
Other banks that have also announced the reduction of advisory staff because of the regulation changes include Barclays and HSBC. RBS intends to continue offering fee-based financial advice to customers unlike other UK banks.
A RBS spokesman said: “Having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of our work to rebuild RBS and repay taxpayers for their support. We continue to make efficiencies across our business to deliver greater value to our customers and shareholders.”
“From 31 December 2012, customers will be charged a fee for the advice they receive from a qualified professional. If our customers choose financial advice for investment products, the costs will be made transparent at the outset.”