Strategy

EXCLUSIVE: Coutts Targets Job Cuts Via Voluntary Redundancies

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 30 November 2016

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The bank is trimming headcount and looking to shed around 5 per cent of its payroll, this publication can reveal.

Coutts has invited staff to apply to voluntary redundancy as part of an efficiency drive that is targeting a reduction of around 5 per cent of a workforce of about 1,600 people, this publication can reveal. 

The UK-headquartered bank is inviting staff – with the exception of certain people working in areas necessary for business continuity – to apply for voluntary redundancies. It is understood that compulsory job cuts are not being planned at this time, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to this publication today. 

“As part of our drive to become a simpler, more sustainable and more efficient private bank focused on the UK, we are offering a small number of voluntary redundancies to our staff.  This voluntary redundancy scheme will not involve any restructures or compulsory job losses and will minimise disruption to both staff and clients,” a spokesperson for Coutts told this publication. 

Coutts and Scotland’s Adam & Co make up the private banking operations of UK-listed Royal Bank of Scotland. Across all private banking, about 1,800 staff are employed; it is understood that Adam & Co is not part of the voluntary redundancy programme, so about 1,600 are affected.

The voluntary redundancy move, announced internally today, comes on the same day that the Bank of England issued stress test results for major UK banks, showing that RBS, which is still majority-owned by the UK government, remains “susceptible to financial and economic stress”, according to the BoE.

The cutback of staff is a sign of efficiency efforts led by Peter Flavel, who was appointed chief executive of the bank in February this year. Coutts has been though significant change already; in the spring of last year, Coutts’ international business outside the UK was sold by RBS to Geneva-headquartered Union Bancaire Privée.

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