RBS has indicated that it will not be in a position to retain the entire staff when its retail banking division in India is absorbed by HSBC India.
It had earlier assured all employees would be absorbed, but now it appears that a few hundred people may be asked to leave, a source at the bank said.In a February 29 mail, which has been shared with HT, RBS India CEO Meera Sanyal said "the changing economic conditions since the original BSA (basic sale agreement) was signed over 18 months ago and the additional change to the shape and size of our business over this period has had an implication on the sales transaction. We can confirm that a majority of employees of the R&C (retail and commercial) India population are in-scope to transfer to HSBC."
This is at variance with Sanyal’s earlier mail that “100% of the R&C population was in-scope.” In-scope refers to being absorbed by HSBC India. RBS has about 1,300 staff in India.
RBS had in July 2010 signed a deal with HSBC to sell its retail and commercial banking division – a deal that is still stuck in regulatory hurdles.
While Sanyal did not respond to phone calls, text messages or emails, a spokesperson for RBS said they continued “to work closely with HSBC and the regulators to complete the deal in a manner that satisfies regulatory requirements and is in the best interests of our clients and employees.”
Understandably, there is outrage among RBS India staff.
“Till about a few months back Sanyal was assuring that no one will be laid off but now we feel we have deliberately been kept in the dark for this entire time,” a senior RBS official told HT.
At a recent intra-office meeting, RBS India’s senior officials Puneet Bahl, Rana Vikram Anand and Derek Nazreth faced a barrage of questions from angry employees who demanded to know details of staff redundancies and severance pay.
Ironically, Bahl and Anand are also expected to be laid off once the merger takes effect.