RBS to cut more jobs and branches, says Chairman

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Chairman Philip Hampton on Tuesday signalled further job cuts and said it would take another 18 months to improve the bank's capital position enough to please regulators.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Chairman Philip Hampton on Tuesday signalled further job cuts and said it would take another 18 months to improve the bank's capital position enough to please regulators.

At the 81% state-owned bank's highly anticipated annual general meeting, Hampton outlined the company's strategy to turn business around after a "chastening" 2012 when it lost £5.2bn.

He said the bank, which has announced 37,000 job cuts since its taxpayer bailout in 2008, will axe more employees and close additional branches before its restructuring is complete.

"We've got to have our branches where our customers are, not always where we have had them for decades," Hampton said at the meeting, according to Bloomberg.

"We have work to do over the coming years to get our business in the right shape to deliver these ambitions, and that could mean further impacts on employees."

Hampton told shareholders the bank still has a while to go to boost its capital enough to keep regulators content.

In March, Britain's financial regulator said UK banks must raise £25bn of extra capital by the end of the year to absorb any future losses on loans.

Hampton added that the bank's restructuring should be mostly finished in 2014, enabling it to return to the private sector.

"We have the ambition of putting the government in a position to sell the shares towards the end of 2014. Then it is the government's decision," Hampton was cited by Reuters as saying.

He also said the bank would invest an extra £450m to improve its computer systems, on top of the £2.0bn it spends annually.

It comes after an IT meltdown last summer which locked up to 17m customers out of their accounts which sparked an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority.

RD

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