Layoffs Watch '14: RBS's Plans For The Future Involve 30,000 Fewer Employees

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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]

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Layoffs Watch '12: RBS

Like Bank of America, RBS has some big goals for the coming year, chief among them being the firing of several thousand investment bankers. (For those skeptical they can do it, according to a PowerPoint presentation presented yesterday, re: the "exits," quite a bit of progress has already been made.) Royal Bank of Scotland, Britain’s biggest government-owned lender, said it will cut 300 more jobs at its investment banking unit and is “on track” with its plan to exit businesses. RBS will eliminate 3,800 jobs at the division by the fourth quarter of next year, compared with an earlier target of 3,500, according to slides based on a presentation delivered by John Hourican, chief of markets and international banking, to analysts Monday. About 3,000 of the cuts will have completed this year, RBS said...The bank’s control of costs is “ongoing,” said Chris Kyle, chief financial officer of markets and international banking, at the presentation. “We will almost certainly hit this year’s number” in terms of the guidance, he said. Royal Bank Of Scotland Cuts 300 More Jobs At Investment Bank [Bloomberg] RBS Markets Investor Roundtable [RBS]