The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is expected to announce cost-cutting measures which could affect thousands of jobs, according to reports, with the bank failing to rule out IT-related roles being targeted.
According a Sky News report, thousands of jobs could be at risk as the bank's chief executive Ross McEwan prepares to announce a "very substantial" cost reduction scheme as part of a review of the bank's operations, including the use of IT within the organisation.
RBS declined to provide any comment on the reports of job cuts, and gave no indication of what job roles might be affected. Thousands of IT jobs have been lost in past restructuring exercises. For example, 1,000 IT support jobs and 2,400 back office were axed in 2010, while jobs in the bank's investment arm were affected in 2012. Last year there were also 2,000 redundancies, with bank sources telling ComputerworldUK that it was likely IT positions would be affected.
McEwan is expected to announce more details on the plans, referred to as Project Cook, as part of the bank's annual financial report next month.
RBS had announced in November that it would be reviewing its operations in order to "improve the bank's performance and effectiveness in serving its customers, shareholders and wider stakeholders", and would seek to "realign the group's cost base". The review will look at IT to help improve customer experience.
The bank has already undergone major restructuring since the £45.5 billion taxpayer-backed bailout in 2008, reducing headcount by 40,000 to around 120,000 currently.
The cuts are part of wider changes within the organisation, as RBS sells off parts of its business in a bid to recapitalise. The bank is to invest £300 million in developing separate IT infrastructure as part of the sale of 314 branches to Williams & Glyn's, with IBM and Infosys the frontrunners to win the implementation contract.