350 jobs to go at Ulster Banks across the north

Thu, 12/01/2012 - 11:39 -- Editor

Some 350 jobs are set to go across the north at the Ulster Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland has announced. Another 600 jobs are to go in the south.

RBS have said that 3,500 staff will be laid off in its investment wing in the UK and internationally in a bid to compete in the financial sector.

A statement read: "Ulster Bank confirms that arising from a review of its operating model; the Bank is announcing 350 proposed job losses in Northern Ireland today. As part of this, the Bank is also announcing 600 proposed job losses in the Republic of Ireland.

"As local and global economies continue to deteriorate, these actions are being taken as part of the bank's overall business strategy to ensure the organisation is well placed to compete effectively in the market and continues to serve the needs of its 1.9 million customers across the island of Ireland through its extensive branch and business centre network."

It is not yet known how many people will lose their jobs in the Derry branches of the Ulster Bank.

Commenting on the news SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan said: “The import of this announcement is that it is bank staff in the retail end of banking – not exceptionally well-paid and some locally based – who are now being asked to pay the latest price for the follies and the excesses of their colleagues and seniors in other areas of the business.

“As well as the implications for staff and their families we have to consider the implications for customers in terms of quality and the accessibility of service.

“This decision is the latest in the series of shock adjustments to the capacity and character of the banking sector locally.

“While many of us have rightly registered concern about the ‘banking of business’ in the present climate, we also need to consider the future of the ‘business of banking’ in the North given the changing profile of future performance questions attached to most of what have been traditionally the four main banks here.

“As before, I will be willing to work with the Finance Union, the Irish Bank Official’s Association (IBOA), in terms of the direct implications for staff and will want to reflect the concerns of customers, not least local business, who will have concerns about the support and rapport that they can expect in the future.” 

Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster, has said that the scale of redundancies proposed at the Ulster Bank is deeply disappointing.

The Minister said: “This announcement has come as a huge shock to staff who work for Ulster Bank. Such a significant number of job losses is very worrying.

“I have had discussions with senior representatives of Ulster Bank and assured them that the Executive will work with local management and their owners in the Royal Bank of Scotland to attract any future RBS jobs into Northern Ireland."