Saturday 24 June 2017

Ulster Bank parent cuts jobs, branches

Ulster Bank CEO Gerry Mallon: tasked with cutting costs. Photo: Tom Burke
Ulster Bank CEO Gerry Mallon: tasked with cutting costs. Photo: Tom Burke
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Ulster Bank parent RBS is preparing to slash more than £1bn (€1.17bn) of costs by cutting jobs and closing branches as it seeks to bolster profitability, according to a source with knowledge of the plans.

The bank's senior executives believe RBS has more staff than it requires and will cut more jobs, said the source, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.

New Ulster Bank ceo Gerry Mallon has been tasked with bringing down Irish costs, but it is understood no new cost-cutting programme has been launched this year.

Last October, RBS ceo Ross McEwan told the Irish Independent the "cost structure" at Ulster Bank was "too high". Ulster Bank's cost to income ratio - a simple measure of costs as a share of revenue - is higher than its peers at 78pc.

Mr McEwan has said he wants the ratio below 50pc by 2020 for RBS as a whole.

RBS has said it will unveil fresh plans to meet profit targets when it publishes its annual results on February 24. Ulster Bank will report on the same day, including an updated cost-income ratio.

Yesterday 'The Sunday Times', citing an analyst it didn't identify, said RBS needed to cut 15,000 jobs. An RBS spokeswoman said: "We do not recognise this report." (Additional reporting Bloomberg)

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