RBS earmarks scores of IT contractors for elimination

Royal Bank of Scotland is to eliminate hundreds of IT contractors as part of a shrinking of its technology workforce.

The government-owned bank has earmarked 154 temporary IT jobs for elimination, later this year and mainly in London.

Affected IT areas range from digital engineering and risk solutions to controls and finance solutions. Even the CTO role is to go, under an accompanying cull of permanent IT jobs.

But all the losses stem from an order in February by RBS chief executive Ross McEwan to cut the bank’s costs by £2billion over the next four years.

At the time, and in light of disappointing results for the 72% state-owned bank, Mr Ewan warned that the cost-cutting exercise would involve job losses, but he gave no numbers.

Yesterday, an RBS spokesman followed suit by refusing to say how many IT contractors would be lost as a result of the first tranche of cuts.

But 334 tech jobs will be axed in the first tranche overall – including the full-time posts, says the union Unite, yet some job creation -- including in India -- reduces the net job losses to 92.

None of the jobs RBS creates offshore will be in IT on a contract basis, a RBS spokesman said, indicating that contractors will not face the humiliation of training their replacements

Despite the expansion offshore, the spokesman added that all the job losses were aimed at reducing the size of RBS’s back-office so it can become a “smaller UK focussed bank.”

“Unfortunately, these changes will result in the net reduction of 92 roles,” the RBS spokesman added.

“We understand this will be difficult news for staff and we will be offering support to those affected, including redeploying people in to other roles where we can.”

But Unite says RBS must go further. The union wants a guarantee of “no compulsory” losses for the IT workers affected, and a pledge by RBS to cancel any future job export plans.

National officer Rob Macgregor said: “Unite cannot understand how RBS, which continues to be taxpayer backed, can justify hundreds more staff cuts and continue transferring important work out of the country.  

“It is wholly inappropriate and unjustified for these technology roles to be sent offshore. Unite has called on RBS to halt the offshoring announcements and impose a moratorium on the offshoring of jobs.”

According to Unite, as many as 11 areas of RBS’s IT department are affected by the cull; they are:

  • CTO
  • Finance Solutions
  • CPB Technology
  • NatWest Markets Technology
  • Controls
  • Performance and Business Management (P&BM)
  • Core and Payments
  • PBB Technology
  • Digital Engineering Services
  • Risk Solutions
  • EC Solutions Technology
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