The Royal Bank of Scotland is cutting around 500 back office jobs at its wealth management division as the introduction of new technology streamlines business processes.
The jobs will go at Adam & Co and the Queen's bank Coutts over the next three years, says part-nationalised RBS, which employs around 3500 in wealth management.
RBS says there has been under-investment in its IT systems over recent years, prompting it to move all wealth management brands onto one core banking platform from Swiss vendor Avaloq, streamlining and simplifying multiple systems and processes.
The platform - which has already been in operation at some parts of the wealth management business for two years - will create a unified and internationally integrated private bank platform "to enhance the client experience while ensuring that our businesses grow profitably and efficiently," says RBS.
Adam will go live with Avaloq in the fourth quarter of 2010 with Coutts & Co following in the second quarter of 2011.
Says an RBS spokesperson: "Today we are announcing a major investment in our processes and technology in our Wealth Management division to help us deliver better service and a wider choice for our clients. As a result of the changes we are restructuring our operations and this will unfortunately lead to job losses."
Over 20,000 jobs have gone at RBS since the financial crisis hit and the bank today insists it has always been clear more cuts would have to emerge as it looks to restructure and repay taxpayers.
However, Unite national officer Rob MacGregor criticised the latest move, saying: "Unite does not believe that the introduction of, and investment in new technology should go hand in hand with the shedding of jobs. Instead RBS should focus on ensuring that its staff can continue to give customers the high levels of service they expect from the Queen's bank."