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Sat, Nov 15, 2008 - Page 10 News List

Royal Bank of Scotland to cut 3,000 staff: reports

AP , LONDON

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will cut around 3,000 jobs worldwide over the next several weeks, British media reports said.

RBS, which is raising as much as £20 billion (US$29.6 billion) from the British government to survive the financial crisis, will cut positions in its global banking and markets work force, the BBC said, without identifying its sources.

RBS spokeswoman Linda Harper said the bank was not confirming the cuts.

“We constantly review our operating model to make sure that it is appropriate to the market conditions and take action accordingly,” she said in a statement.

The BBC and the Scotsman newspaper reported the news yesterday.

Earlier this month, RBS said it could suffer its first ever annual loss this year, after almost 300 years of consecutive annual profits in the company’s history.

The report comes after announcements earlier this week that other British companies, including BT Group PLC, Virgin Media and Yell Group PLC, will also slash thousands of jobs.

BT said on Thursday that it would cut would cut 6,000 more jobs — mostly in Britain — by March of next year to improve profitability. The cuts come on top of 4,000 more the company has already made since April.

On Wednesday, official statistics showed Britain’s unemployment rate rose sharply to 5.8 percent in the three months to September, up from 5.4 percent in the previous quarter. The total number of unemployed people in Britain is now 1.82 million — the highest it has been in a decade, Britain’s Office for National Statistics said.

The banking sector is among the hardest hit with job losses because of the financial crisis. Recruitment agency Morgan McKinley reported on Thursday that there were just 5,418 new job openings in London’s financial services sector last month — 48 percent lower than the same month last year.

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