RBS announces job cuts at Churchill and Direct Line

State-owned Royal Bank of Scotland has announced that it is axing 2,600 jobs across the UK. At least 2,000 roles will go in the bank’s insurance arm – which controls Churchill and Direct Line. Another 600 are expected to go at the head office of its high street retail banking business.

It is not known how many marketing jobs will be affected by the announcement.

Direct Line launched a crusade against price comparison sites last year following its decision not be listed on web aggregators and relaunching its classic red phone icon in a new campaign.

Under pressure from the European Commission, RBS is being forced to sell its insurance arm and 318 bank branches to compensate for bagging a bailout from the UK government, to improve competitiveness in the UK’s financial services industry. It has until 2013 to make the necessary sales.

RBS chief executive Stephen Hester on Friday said the bank was finally through the worst of the recession. First quarter losses tumbled nearly 70% to less than £300million. The bank set aside £900million for a pay and end-of-year bonus pot for its 17,000 investment bankers. Mr Hester has insisted that taxpayers would benefit from the bank’s rebirth, given the government’s 83% stake in the business.

This story first appeared on pitch

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