Ulster Bank's parent said yesterday it will eliminate more jobs and close additional branches before its restructuring is complete.
"We've got to have our branches where our customers are, not always where we have had them for decades," Royal Bank of Scotland chairman Philip Hampton said at the lender's AGM in Edinburgh. "We have work to do over the coming years to get our business in the right shape to deliver these ambitions, and that could mean further impacts on employees."
Mr Hampton and chief executive Stephen Hester are struggling to turn around the bank and begin the process of returning it to private ownership before 2015. The bank has announced 37,000 job cuts since its £45.5bn (€53.2bn) bailout.
"Banks need to get more efficient," Mr Hampton said after the meeting. "That will mean, from time to time, job losses."
Outgoing finance director Bruce van Saun refused to specify how many more job cuts were likely and said the "vast majority are now behind us".
RBS will have completed most of its restructuring next year, allowing the British government to start selling down its 81pc stake by the end of 2014.
Mr Hester said earlier this month that he saw a "cogent" case for the government to start selling its RBS stake, even at an initial loss. The average price the taxpayer would achieve for the entire holding in RBS would be higher than the government's rescue price, he said. (Bloomberg)