Newry employees may suffer as Ulster Bank cuts 350 staff

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Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The Ulster Bank branch in Newry's Hill Street

A staggering 350 in Northern Ireland woke up this morning to the realisation that their jobs may no longer be guaranteed. The news came amid speculation yesterday that Ulster Bank was about to axe up to 1000 jobs in the island of Ireland. That figure proved to be close, with Ulster Bank this morning confirming that a total of 950 jobs in the whole of Ireland would be cut. It is unclear yet as to where the job cuts will be felt most but it is likely that Ulster Bank branches in all cities and towns throughout Northern Ireland will be affected by the huge cuts. Staff at the Newry branch of Ulster Bank in Hill Street are also believed to be at risk.
Ulster Bank, the third-largest bank in Ireland, is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, who plan to cut a further 3500 jobs over the next number of years. Speaking about the ‘necessary cuts’ and a ‘review of its operating model’ a spokesman for Ulster Bank cited the economic situation as the main motivation for the job cuts. “As local and global economies continue to deteriorate, these actions are being taken as part of the bank’s overall business strategy to ensure the organisation is well placed to compete effectively in the market and continues to serve the needs of its 1.9m customers across the island of Ireland through its extensive branch and business centre network,” it said.

Larry Broderick, general secretary of IBOA finance union criticised the decision on the job cuts, “The sheer magnitude of this second wave of proposed redundancies is breathtaking. Our members feel very strongly that Ulster Bank staff are continuing to suffer for the mismanagement, incompetence and greed of senior management in Ulster Bank’s parent company, RBS, which has been nationalised in all but name, as a result of the biggest collapse in British corporate history.”

Broderick continued, “While those responsible have escaped with impunity – through golden parachutes and the like – and while those charged with restoring the fortunes of RBS are apparently due to be handsomely rewarded with generous bonuses, the ordinary staff throughout RBS have been called upon to bear a disproportionate amount of the pain. In Ulster Bank too, rank-and-file staff are again being asked to make the lion’s share of the sacrifices being demanded to restore the bank to health.”

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