No decision yet on RBS job numbers

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Royal Bank of Scotland has yet to decide how many jobs it will cut at its investment bank after announcing a major downsizing of the business last week, its chief executive Ross McEwan said yesterday.

The Financial Times reported that up to 14,000 of 18,000 jobs at RBS’s investment bank could be cut.

“Until we’ve gone through and worked through the sale or rundown of these businesses, and also had good consultation with our unions and our staff, there is no number,” Mr McEwan said.

However, he acknowledged that the number would be significant and sources familiar with the matter confirmed that thousands of jobs would be lost.

RBS is shrinking its investment banking operations dramatically, pulling out of 25 countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East while cutting jobs at its US trading business in Connecticut.

Its investment bank expanded dramatically under former CEO Fred Goodwin, culminating in the disastrous acquisition of ABN Amro in 2007, which nearly destroyed the bank prior to its £45bn bailout.

Mr McEwan, who took over as chief executive in 2013 from Stephen Hester, has refocused the bank on lending to British businesses and households.