It seems that even the Widow is not immune from the Bank’s rush to achieve its cost:income ratio of 45% (currently 48.7%) by the end of 2019. At the weekend there was speculation that the Bank had started discussions with Standard Life Aberdeen about a merger with Scottish Widows. The job losses that would result from the coming together of those two former mutuals would be catastrophic. We will come back to this issue in a separate Newsletter.
Today, the Bank has announced that a further 720 job losses across its Connect, Wealth, Retail Business Banking and Group Operations business units, although it is creating 380 new roles. However, for many staff the locations of the new roles are going to make it impossible for them to take the alternative roles. The 250 staff in the Dundee Contact Centre have been told that the building is closing at the end of 2017 but there are jobs at the Connect site in Dunfermline, a round trip of some 80 miles. For the majority of staff, many of which are in the lowest grades, such moves are going to be impossible to take up, and the Bank knows that.