Royal Bank of Scotland has cut 36,000 jobs since 2008, is continuing to scale back its investment bank and has just been fined £390m charge for its part in the Libor-rigging scandal.
Yet, through the fog of negative headlines, RBS is quietly expanding. Jill Duthie, head of sourcing for UK and Europe, said that while the bank remains focused on “de-risking its balance sheet”, there are areas of the business where the bank wants to recruit.
“There are a number of key priorities from a recruitment point of view; we’re hiring for compliance, regulatory risk, anti-money laundering and all areas of audit, with a particular focus on technology audit,” she said.
Duthie wouldn’t say how many new jobs the bank plans to create in 2013. Its recruitment website currently has 544 positions. There are 60 vacancies within risk and compliance, 24 related to anti-money laundering and 91 audit-focused jobs globally.
Duthie acknowledged that RBS has had its fair share of negative headlines as the banking sector has taken a public battering since the financial crisis hit in 2008.
“The banking sector has been open to more public and media scrutiny and RBS has been in the eye of the storm, which has impacted our brand. For us, it’s about telling our story, explaining the enormous progress we have made so far in terms of our strategic plan and journey to build a safe and secure bank for our customers,” she said.
RBS’ biggest recruitment issue, she said, is finding talent as the roles the bank is recruiting for are in demand across the financial sector. In addition, the majority of positions are based at the bank’s Edinburgh headquarters.
“The market is smaller north of the border and this makes it challenging to recruit a number of individuals in relatively niche areas, particularly as competitors recruiting for the same positions are based elsewhere in centres like London,” said Duthie.
Government intervention in the 82% state-owned lender has also meant that more scrutiny has been given to RBS’s pay structure. For the past three years, it’s capped cash bonuses at £2k (even if this is supplemented by deferred bonds that can vest up to £25k in June), and it plans to recoup £300m of its Libor rigging fine from this year’s bonus pool.
“RBS offers competitive salaries, but we also offer a range of fantastic benefits which can be tailored to suit individual needs” said Duthie. “As well as pension, private healthcare and childcare vouchers, we’re placing more of a focus on work-life balance, which is a big selling point to people currently.”