Bank wields axe on 170 workers

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JOB cuts at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Milton Keynes are both ‘disappointing and distressing’ according to the Chamber of Commerce.

RBS confirmed on Tuesday that 170 jobs will be lost at its telephony and operations centre in Central Milton Keynes, and the cuts will be complete by June next year.

Rita Spada, chief executive of the Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce, said she hopes the skilled workforce can find jobs in Milton Keynes, rather than being forced to look elsewhere.

She said: “This is disappointing and naturally distressing for the employees.

“Milton Keynes is a growing economy and we know from our quarterly economic surveys done with the British Chambers of Commerce that our local employers have and intend to increase employment in the next year.

“These are skilled and experienced employees and we know Milton Keynes always demands skilled and knowledgeable people at all levels in the workplace.”

News broke that the centre would be considered for closure as part of RBS Business Services strategic plan last September, and in January, those plans were confirmed.

A spokesman said: “As we work to rebuild RBS and repay the taxpayer for their support we continue to streamline and make efficiencies across our businesses to ensure we remain competitive.

“Having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of our work to rebuild RBS. We will do all we can to support our staff, offer redeployment opportunities wherever possible and keep compulsory redundancies to an absolute minimum.”

David Fleming of the Unite union said: “The workforce that have been informed they have no future at the Royal Bank of Scotland site in Milton Keynes will be devastated.

“The closure of the service centre in June 2012 will significantly hit the female workforce, who tend to be in the lower grades of the bank.

“It is staggering that around 80 per cent of those losing their jobs are female.”