Earlier this week, Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Ross McEwan announced that he had a new professional goal for himself. “My aspiration is not to run the world’s biggest bank,” he said via video posted on the bank’s website. “My aspiration is to run the best bank in the UK – nothing to do with size.” What role will the men and women who make up Team RBS come in vis-à-vis said aspirations? That’s where this conversation gets awkward.

Royal Bank of Scotland is preparing a dramatic retrenchment that would see it become a much smaller UK retail and commercial bank in a move that is expected to slash staff numbers by at least 30,000 in the coming years. The bank, which is 81 per cent owned by the government, is next week expected to announce its withdrawal from many of its riskier investment banking activities alongside a plan to offload much of its international business. The restructuring will form part of a brutal series of cost-cutting measures and disposals led by new chief executive Ross McEwan, which are expected to lead to a reduction of about a quarter in the group’s headcount over the next three to five years…

RBS, which currently employs 120,000 staff, is expected to refocus on three key groups: retail customers, small businesses and larger corporates, said people familiar with its plans. “It will be a monster restructuring,” said one banking analyst…One person familiar with RBS said he expected it to fold what is left of the investment bank into its corporate bank, making it more of “a support function” for the bank’s corporate clients in a structure that mirrors the one operated by Lloyds Banking Group. RBS is expected to make heavy cuts to the 11,000 jobs at its investment bank, including a retreat from its US and Asian markets businesses. It is also expected to take the axe to central functions such as finance, risk and accounting.

RBS plans dramatic scaling back [FT]

22 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (22)

  1. Posted by Beerio | February 21, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    UBS, RBS – is there a correlation between BS banks and failure? HSBC wants to know…

  2. Posted by Jim Cane | February 21, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    BSC (aka Bear Stearns) concurs.

  3. Posted by Guest | February 21, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    Make it easy for Alex Salmond and start by removing all the employees in Scotland.

  4. Posted by Guest | February 21, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    So they are hiring?

  5. Posted by UK Gov't | February 21, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Good plan. We also would have accepted;
    [youtube S2XvxDaIwCw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2XvxDaIwCw youtube]

  6. Posted by UBS sucks guy | February 21, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    going to be a fire sale on 'Ludes at Stamford Honda

  7. Posted by Guest | February 21, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    In for one. Hope they have those zero down, zero interest plans.

  8. Posted by guest | February 21, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    This means 30,000 people will be able to pursue their dreams

  9. Posted by Guest | February 21, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    You can't stuff a salmon in my pocket and tell me its halibut.

    -Luca Brasi

  10. Posted by Guest | February 21, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Sad story. However, Bess… you are absolutely hilarious. "What role will the men and women who make up Team RBS come in vis-à-vis said aspirations? That’s where this conversation gets awkward."

  11. Posted by guest | February 21, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    I hope not

    -Terrified Banco Santander employer

  12. Posted by Ralph Cioffi | February 21, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Thanks for that clarification, ever would have figured it out otherwise.

  13. Posted by Guest | February 21, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    [youtube deRF9oEbRso http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deRF9oEbRso youtube]

  14. Posted by guestest | February 21, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    My aspiration is to run the best bank in the UK.. to the ground.

  15. Posted by LIBOR fix | February 21, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Best bank in the UK = tallest of the midgets

  16. Posted by Guest | February 21, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Being the best bank in the UK is like winning a medal at the Special Olympics – you win, but you are still a retard.

  17. Posted by Guest | February 21, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Impeach Obama!

  18. Posted by Guest | February 21, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    You would know

  19. Posted by guest | February 21, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    exactly. the good thing is these people who were stuck in jobs they hated just to keep insurance, can now get insurance at a great price without RBS.

    -Obongo & Friends

  20. Posted by Guest | February 21, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Its hilarious to think that if you are 81% govt owned that you consider yourself CEO of anything. Just sayin

    RBS CEO=Titanic Capt

  21. Posted by Ron Jeremy | February 21, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    It has everything to do with size… and ability to deliver on cue.

  22. Posted by Guest | February 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    "There will be no jobs announcement Thursday"……packing my bags ahead of Wednesdays announcement