RBS to cut 550 jobs in preparation for robot revolution

RBS to cut 550 jobs in preparation for robot revolution

Royal Bank of Scotland is to cut 550 jobs as it scales back on in-person advice to customers with less than £250,000 to invest.

The news was leaked to the FT over the weekend in a classic PR campaign to soften the market and test the waters ahead of a formal statement on the plans.

The move will hit 220 financial advisory roles and 200 further staff who provide insurance protection advice.

The bank, which previously provided in-person advisory services to clients with more than £100,000 to invest says the shift reflects a reduction in demand for personal services following the introduction of new rules under the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).

RBS is instead planning to roll out an automated advisory platform that will be made available to all customers with more than £500 in liquid assets.

“Our customers increasingly want to bank with us using digital technology,” the bank said in a statement. “As a result, we are scaling back our face-to-face advisers and significantly investing in an online investing platform that enables us to help a new group of customers with as little as 500 pounds to invest.”

Customers seeking insurance protection plans will instead be directed to a telephone-based service, the bank added.

The news comes as the Financial Conduct Authority takes the wraps off an update to RDR conducted under the guise of the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) which highlights the increasing role that technology can play in creating a more engaging, cost-effective advice market. It recommends that the FCA extend the work of Project Innovate and establish a unit to help firms develop their automated advice models.

Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 March, 2016, 10:24Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Not sure this quote from RBS entirely fits what they are doing:

“Our customers increasingly want to bank with us using digital technology,”

Sounds rather - we cant be bothered with anyone who doesnt have ridiculous amounts of money to invest.....

Paul Nash
Paul Nash - CityLearning Ltd - Dublin 14 March, 2016, 14:02Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Maybe they can't afford to advise this group of customers and/or are aware that they have little to offer them. A lot of once interesting investment and savings schemes have proved disappointing.

Hitesh Thakkar
Hitesh Thakkar - FIS Payments Software and Services India - India 16 March, 2016, 10:25Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Each force brings Change.

Need to understand the Force which made the change for RBS which is mentioned as "reflects a reduction in demand for personal services following the introduction of new rules under the Retail Distribution Review (RDR)"

It may be that, RBS as Branch transformation strategy decides to move low margin services on centralised platform.