People Moves

RBS Sheds Some Private Banking Direct Roles; Coutts Unaffected

Tom Burroughes , Group Editor, London, 15 March 2012

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Royal Bank of Scotland, the UK-listed bank, is cutting some jobs at its Private Banking Direct operation but told this publication that no cuts are being implemented at its flagship Coutts private bank beyond those announced earlier this year.

The UK-listed bank said 464 Private Banking Direct roles will be affected, but as 150 new jobs are also being created as part of a reorganisation, about 300 jobs will be shed in total, bringing the total headcount to date to around 34,000 at RBS, the bank said. The kind of jobs that are being affected are back-office and telephony functions.

“We are working hard to rebuild RBS in order to repay taxpayers for their support and having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of this process. We strive at all times to be open and honest about the tough choices we are making and we remain committed to providing our customers with the same high level of service as we make changes to our Private Banking Direct structure," RBS said in a statement emailed to this publication.

“We will do all we can to support our people, offer redeployment opportunities wherever possible and keep compulsory redundancies to an absolute minimum," it said.

Coutts, the private bank, will not be affected by such cuts, RBS told this publication. A media report, citing a union comment, spoke of cuts to “private banking jobs”.

In January, Coutts launched the second part of its drive to reshape the business, with between 80 and 100 roles being shed following an extensive consultation period with staff. Under the new business model, Coutts will place greater emphasis on its wealth management proposition in line with client demand and the forthcoming changes driven by the Retail Distribution Review.

The reshaped business will see all clients served by a private banker, with growth criteria clients (those with at least £1 million (around $1.53 million) of assets) having their relationship led by a wealth manager who will offer the full spectrum of investment advice. Clients holding £10 million or more will continue to be looked after by Coutts Private Office.

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