British employee union Unite has criticised proposals by state-backed lender Royal Bank of Scotland to relocate another 66 jobs from Britain to India, a plan it described as the ultimate betrayal of the bank’s workforce.
Unite, in a statement late on Wednesday, said the planned moves affecting staff in the bank’s fraud and chargeback functions were unjustified, in view of swingeing cuts to British jobs and earlier headcount relocations to overseas hubs.
“The loss of these Royal Bank of Scotland jobs from the UK is the ultimate betrayal for the workforce. The bank is continuing the senseless cutting of important back office functions,” Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, said.
“Unite is calling on RBS to reconsider this offshoring to India for the sake of their staff and their reputations.”
The affected roles are for processing staff in the bank’s chargeback unit and are all currently in Southend, a coastal town in southeast England, a spokesman for RBS said.
“With RBS becoming a smaller, simpler bank, we’ve been restructuring our back office support so it’s a better fit for our business. Unfortunately, these changes will mean some job losses,” said the spokesman.
The bank, which is 73% owned by the British government, has already axed thousands of jobs since it began a major restructuring to streamline its business and rein in costs following a 46 billion pound ($61 billion) taxpayer rescue in 2008.
RBS has previously shifted some jobs from Britain to India and shrunk its global workforce from a peak of 200,000 employees in 2008 to 89,000, with 64,000 of those in Britain as of December 2015.
Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in June that the bank planned to cut around another 900 British jobs but has not set a timeframe.
The union said it would press RBS to ensure that all staff affected by the proposed offshoring were found suitable alternative employment.