Bank sorry as 130 staff told of axe by mistake

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YORKSHIRE Bank has apologised to staff after inadvertently revealing details of 130 job losses in its wealth management business.

The Australian-owned lender confirmed yesterday that it plans to close its financial advice service as part of an ongoing restructuring exercise.

The 130 roles are included in the 1,400 job losses already announced by Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks last April.

The Unite union criticised the bank for raising hopes by training staff to meet new regulatory requirements and then deciding to shut the operation.

Dominic Hook, a national officer, said the move was “a cruel decision for workers with years of loyal service” and demanded to know why the announcement was leaked on internal systems.

Barry Gardner, a spokesman for Yorkshire Bank, said: “We are sorry that some information was inadvertently made available yesterday to some staff in relation to this announcement and have apologised to them.

“We are aware of the union’s concerns however we have been working closely with them on this for a number of months and will continue to do so going forward.”

He said Yorkshire and Clydesdale are providing customers with 90 days’ notice of the change and will continue to give them financial advice support until June 14.

He added that the banks are providing support for the 130 employees affected by the decision. Around 40 of these are based in Yorkshire.

Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks have been hit hard by the collapse in commercial property values and as part of the restructuring transferred £5.6bn worth of commercial property loans to parent National Australia Bank.

NAB executives said the restructuring is progressing well and the banks are lower risk and better capitalised. Analysts are speculating that the banks could be floated on the London Stock Exchange.