Business Irish

Friday 22 August 2014

Ulster Bank: plan to reduce staff has not changed

Donal O’Donovan

Published 27/02/2014 | 12:53

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Ulster Bank Offices
Ulster Bank offices in Dublin

THE head of Ulster Bank said a target to reduce staff numbers to 4,500 over the next “three to four” years has not changed, following a strategic review by parent RBS.

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New Zealander Jim Brown told the Irish Independent that staff numbers will fall from the current 5,800 over time, as fewer employees are needed to deal with the fall out from boom era lending, but no new jobs cuts were announced, following the review..

He said the bank is committed to the Irish market, reiterating a statement back in November. However a review of the bank’s branch network is not yet complete, and there are plans to integrate Ulster’s Northern Ireland unit in particular more deeply in the UK parent.

Speaking after the bank announced an operating loss of £1.46bn (€1.78bn) for 2013, he said mortgages arrears have fallen at Ulster Bank for 10 successive months.

“The absolute level of arrears is down by £900m and there are 2,000 (homeowners) who are now up to date and current with the home loan,” he said.

Ulster Bank’s parent said yesterday that it wants to shift the mix of staff across the bank. Currently around 70pc of workers are in so called “back office” functions but the banks wants to shift so that a majority of staff are “customer facing.”

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