Ulster bank plans to cut 64 jobs in Northern Ireland

Move will affect debt-management operation and call centre

Union leaders said Ulster Bank, which reported pretax profits of £58 million in the North last year, had “failed to provide a convincing rationale” for the job losses.

Union leaders said Ulster Bank, which reported pretax profits of £58 million in the North last year, had “failed to provide a convincing rationale” for the job losses.

 

Ulster Bank wants to cut 51 jobs at its debt-management operations team and 13 from its call centre in Belfast.

But it will also offset the proposed call centre job losses with plans to create 10 new roles in the centre.

The bank, which is part of the RBS, said it believed most of the job losses could take the shape of voluntary redundancies and that it also hoped to be able to offer affected staff other opportunities.

Ulster Bank said the redundancies were part of its “ongoing efforts to build a strong and sustainable bank”.

But union leaders said the bank, which reported pretax profits of £58 million in the North last year, had “failed to provide a convincing rationale” for the job losses.

Instead the Financial Services Union (FSU) claimed the bank intended to relocate services from Belfast to Birmingham and Rotherham.

Gareth Murphy, an FSU senior industrial relations official, said: “This is a bad proposal – for both staff and customers.

“This appears to be solely a cost-cutting measure. Staff are contributing hugely to the improved fortunes of the bank – they do not deserve this type of treatment. This move will also concern Ulster Bank customers.

“Debt management is incredibly sensitive and important work. It involves establishing a relationship with a customer and working with them at a time of financial difficulty when, for instance, their home may be at risk,” Mr Murphy added.

He said Ulster Bank’s proposed redundancies would be “firmly resisted” by the FSU.

“If the bank succeeds in moving this work to call centres in Birmingham and Rotherham it will be a bad day for Ulster Bank customers,” Mr Murphy warned.