RBS Cancels Merriment Of Any Kind

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As you may have heard, the last several years have not been so hot for RBS. In the last 12 months alone, the bank beat expectation by posting "a bigger-than-estimated first quarter loss" (with a loss of 1.4 billion pounds for the first half), employees have gotten canned, management has already informed staff that 2011 bonuses will be less than 2010's, you can't say "ABN Amro" without getting tased, they're still mopping up the mess from ToiletGate, they just got downgraded by Fitch, and the Queen is riding all their asses. What was left to look forward to? Not much at all but at least there was the annual Christmas party which, since 2008 has amounted to one bag of (fun size) chips per head. It wasn't a lot but it was something and now? It's gone.

RBS is canceling Christmas for its investment bankers this year as the government-owned lender tries to reduce costs.

Okay, so, no Christmas party seems a bit harsh but employees can still get into the holiday spirit with non-Christ-based soirées, right? WRONG! There will be no Halloween parties, no pre-Thanksgiving raves, no New Year's bashes, no Beamer's Appreciation Day on RBS's watch.

The bank will stop subsidizing holiday parties and has banned staff entertainment for the rest of the year, Chris Kyle, chief financial officer of RBS’s investment bank, wrote in an e- mail to employees.

If anyone thinks foot stomping, hand-clapping chicken dances around the trading floor in celebration of someone's birthday don't fall under the ban, think again. God help anyone who wants to test them on this.

RBS Cancels Christmas For Investment Bankers [Bloomberg]

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Layoffs/Hiring Watch '12: RBS

The bad news is that 600 of the Queen's corgis are being let go. The good news, while it probably comes as little solace to those who will no longer receive birthday chickens, is that 300 or so new ones will be hired in their place. State-backed lender Royal Bank of Scotland is making more than 600 staff redundant as a result of legislation due to come into force at the end of the year, bringing total staff reductions at the bank since its 2008 bailout to around 36,000. RBS, 82 percent owned by the government, said the jobs would go as a result of new UK rules requiring retail financial products such as savings and investment vehicles to be sold by more highly qualified staff and charged a fee. "As a response to this we will be reducing the number of roles by 618 across the UK and creating 351 new roles," an RBS spokesman said on Tuesday. "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 toour customers and shareholders," the spokesman added. RBS Job Loss Hits 36,000 [Reuters]