Although the bank did not give a figure for the potential number of redundancies, The Mail on Sunday reported that about 400 staff in its business division have been warned they could lose their jobs.
An RBS spokesman said: “We are making changes within business banking to provide a simpler, more efficient and more customer-focused service based around the changing way our customers want to interact with us.
“As part of this programme we will be improving our telephone service by aligning our teams and bringing staff together at four key sites across the UK; creating a new team of business growth enablers to help support local businesses; and increasing the number of services available to customers online.
“Unfortunately, these changes will result in a number of job losses. We realise how difficult this news is for our staff and we will do everything we can to support those affected, including the retraining and redeployment of staff into new roles.”
The spokesman said the “key sites” that will be dedicated to improving the telephone service to customers will be based in Croydon, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Rotherham.
Earlier this month, Ross McEwan, the chief executive of RBS, told The Yorkshire Post that the banks, including RBS, have to rebuild trust.
His turnaround plan includes simplifying the bank into three business lines, the sale of international assets to raise capital and a focus on customers in the UK and Ireland. Mr McEwan said the UK economy has seen a shift but still feels “reasonably good” on growth. He added: “I think we are in good shape at this time. Corporates carry a lot less debt than they did. Many of them have a lot of cash on their balance sheet as do mid-sized companies as well.”
Mr McEwan visited the bank’s “hatchery” in Leeds in early February, which is one of eight regional business development hubs delivered by NatWest in partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark.