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Is redundancy the best bet at RBS?

Comments left on our RBS-related articles in the past few days suggest that in the absence of anything resembling a cash bonus, employees at the bank are now holding out for redundancy packages.

Unfortunately, they may have missed the boat. This time last year, ex-insiders say RBS was paying some of the best packages on the market. One former RBS/ABN employee who was let go in the first round says he left with nine months’ salary after receiving a month for every year worked (six), plus various add-ons.

But with as many as 20,000 people at RBS now in danger of losing their jobs, future severance packages are likely to be a lot more frugal. One insider says there are rumours that these too will be capped.

For many RBS employees, the best bet may be to hold on until the bitter end. One non-recipient of a bonus at the bank describes the atmosphere as ‘angry’ but say there’s limited appetite for leaving.

Even RBS’ top performing FX staff appear willing to stay put for the moment. An FX headhunter who works with the institution says both BNP Paribas and Citi are selectively expanding their FX businesses and might be interested in picking up disaffected FX staff.

However, he says loyalty to the organization prevails: “RBS is one of the big places to be in FX – it’s got a very good name in the market and a lot of people have been there for a long time.”

Comments (26)

  1. Man, I finally understand Freddie Mercury’s classic song “Oh Lord, I want to be break free…..”

  2. It’s “I want to break free,” not “I want to be free.” Actually.

    Not@RBS and familiar with lyrics Reply
  3. If you want to correct the comment at least quote it properly!

    pedantic@anywherebutrbs Reply
  4. Is it not “Oh Gordy, won’t you buy me, a mer-ce-deesz Benz?” No chance…

    RBS workers should be pleased to hear that some other civil servants are being paid up to 10k in bonuses…

    Just when you thought Labour couldn’t get any worse…

    Full of Sympathy Reply
  5. I’m questioning the very purpose of aspiring to be upper middle class or even middle class in this country. What is the point to aspire to a good standard of living? Wanting to do well for your family so that your kids can enjoy what you never had? Working at RBS now and living in London means for me that my wife has to take a job, leaving our kids with my mother-in-law, who is no spring chicken. After the mortgage, bills, household mantainance etc etc…I can hardly save any money. I’m desperately trying to save up for when my kids are old enough…so I can send them to an independent school. It’s very difficult!! Anyway, if I got a good job with good pay abroad, I am off in a heartbeat.

  6. As you say RBS redundancy packagaes are not likley to be great. I hear people are only getting 3 and a half weeks for every full year served and that’s it – and I believe there is a cap. If they are wise they’d sit tight and look to some of the smaller banks who are hiring – after all the smaller Asian firms are in a lot better shape than RBS (for that matter most so called ‘major’ banks), and there is no prestige left to working in a collosal bank. If I were there (and I did a stint there a while back) I’d be trying my best to get into a smaller house and once there thank my lucky stars. RBS will never be the same – the only people who benefit there are those who moved over from ABN on guaranteed bonuses. Quite simply the market has changed and smaller houses are the way forward.

  7. I work at RBS unfortunately (in structured products and exotics risk). My sources in the know up the food chain from me have quietly advised me that our entire area will be slashed beyond recognition. I swear, if anybody out there was hiring, I would be out of here like a shot!

  8. Until the last minute I was expecting common sense to prevail but I was wrong. There is little doubt that as a result of this RBS will be turned into a black hole capable of sucking the entire UK economy.

    Sarah, am I still entitled to redundancy payment if I cause my sacking by breaching the code of conduct (e.g. shout words at someone)?

  9. RBS Banker #2: I suspect that if you shout at someone you will be liable for termination due to bad behaviour and will forego anything resembling a severance payment. It is now too late to confirm this with lawyer and I’m on holiday tomorrow, so guess this will have to wait. Best not to shout words at someone in the meantime.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  10. Understood. I’m open to tips. People might think it’s unethical but I worked hard for the whole year and I want to recover some of the money that was effectively stolen from me by the government.

  11. Sooner all you moaning whingers leave the better for those of us staying then. So, we didn’t get our bonuses and profit share has gone. It’s still a great company with great potential, and we are all very fortunate that the business even continues to exist.

    At times like this we need people to be +ve and forward thinking. Its not what it was, but its up to us to make the company great again, and it won’t be if attitudes such as those noted above prevail. We need to get back to being a customer focused bank, and not some whizz bang flash harry outfit trying to peddle products no one understands.

    Good luck at the smaller banks. Just wait til you see what’s round the corner for them. and it will be last in first out. Sit tight, put on a business face, get out there and look after our customers and let’s make this bank the great business it once was.

    I’m 15 years here, and I’ll fight tooth and nail to help make the business what it once was. If you want to throw in the towel then do it quickly and let the rest of us get on with it!

    Proud to be RBS! Reply
  12. In response to ‘Proud to be RBS’ – I couldn’t help but chuckle. It is the arrogance of people like you that has got RBS to the sorry state it is in now! How can you be proud to work for a bank that is sucking the country dry? Get real! Quite simply RBS will never be the same again and nobody with half a brain can argue otherwise (I do add, however, that it used to be a great firm – I worked there some years ago and enjoyed it greatly. It’s a shame what has happened, but in all honesty it will never go back to what it used to be)

  13. Proud to be RBS – If you are so proud to be an RBS banker, and confident of the firm’s ability to rebuild itself, can I ask why are you looking at a careers website?

    StructuredProductsAreARipOff Reply
  14. Very good point from StructuredProductsAreARipOff (although I’m not so fond of your nickname!). It always makes me smile when I see people on here defending dead (or dying banks), talking about how wonderful it is to work at a big firm!!!!! I mean, why are you on here if it’s so great!? This is a site for people looking for jobs! In case you are wondering I work at a large European house and I will glady jump ship to the up and coming smaller firms. I would never join a large firm again (especially not the now defunct RBS) no matter how much they were prepared to pay. The fact is smaller is better these days!!!!!!!!!!!! PS: Proud To Be RBS – check your intranet – Leith has gone! Your time, if you’ve been there for 15 years, I’m afraid to say, will no doubt soon be up too!

  15. Believe me, this site is NOT just for active jobseekers. Most people on the trading floor where i work (bulge bracket IB) peruse the site fairly regularly. Whilst all IB professional “have their price”, and therefore could be regarded as jobseekers, to think that the only people on this site are actively looking for new employment is laughable.

    On the RBS issue, i think it’s a shame what’s happened, but i don’t think we’ve heard the last of this saga. The franchise there is too strong to just disappear into the ether. They’ll be back. For the time being they’re simply a wounded rival. Down but not out.

  16. I’m interested as to what will happen to the graduates who are due to start in RBS in September 2009 in the ibanking/global markets division. Does anyone know whether they are safe or not? They’re the ones I really feel bad for if they are threatened!

  17. Whilst it was no secret that the credit crew of GBM screwed the pooch and mgt also had their fair share of blame, GBM is fundamentally a business with some strong business units.
    Whilst I feel RBS has definite future potential, what we now have is an empirical problem of motivating staff t Associated with this problem is the central issue of motivating the revenue drivers of the front office to go and get the business. Now to me this is almost an insurmountable challenge as why would a sale person stick around, when there is no commission being paid and any other shop on the block could be interested their client list.?Traders now have no incentive as there are no deals coming in to trade the risk on.

    I foresee many of GBM’s remaining revenue generating staff leaving, so Gordon brown will have bought a hollow shell and the co be lumbered with an even more toxic debt as there is not incentive to motivate the staff who are existing to solve the problem, so the debt will have trouble being repaid. These people are motivated to generate . Cutting off this avenue will be akin to cutting off the blood supply of the bank.

    Thanks Gordon!

  18. I’m the girl from ipanema where there drink caphirinia and like to run free. No more haggis and bag pipes for me. I got out in the first wave and am cha cha cha-ing in brazil. Get out sooner than later before you all start wearing brown cardigans and start muttering the words “computer says no”.

    Rbsgirlinipanema Reply
  19. Well, I am still with RBS (been around for 6 years )but dont quite know where it is going and goes without saying that i am desperately looking for something in Trade Finance in the UK or the Netherlands or for that matter any european country. Bad time to be looking at that side i know but then been my dream to work there.

  20. Pascalk
    ” RBS will never be the same – the only people who benefit there are those who moved over from ABN on guaranteed bonuses”

    RBS over the years pad bonuses 100% cash. The so called guaranteed bonuses you are talking about are deferred payments as ABN people didn’t get 100% cash bonuses over the years (inline with just about everyone else)

    give back some of that cash then if you think it’s so unfair

  21. Proud to be RBS!

    “I’m 15 years here, and I’ll fight tooth and nail to help make the business what it once was. If you want to throw in the towel then do it quickly and let the rest of us get on with it!”

    It’s too late to move now but that’s way too long to stay at one place, unless you get “paid” and run the place

  22. I was proud to be RBS – but can’t believe it’s gone down to the enormous tune it has. Whilst I enjoyed the fat of the past 11 years – it was somewhat innocent and naive considering what’s creeping so catastrophically out of the woodwork. Fred and Leith et al have much to answer for. GBM was a great place and still has very talented guys and gals. Those who “misled” should be openly and monetarily punshied for destroying a happy House I was please to call “home” quite a lot of the time. I hope the REtail side is strong enough to carry the problems casued within the GBM walls – as I have 10 years of bonuses and profit shares paid in now worthless shares. On the bright side having left I can now enjoy the interviewing and CV prep of a middleaged job seeker!!! Ce la vie. Boom and bust. I’ve now the opportunity to explore new avenues. I think the good times will come around again – it’s whether or not those of us without jobs at the moment can weather it. I do hope so – especially those who didn’t contribute to the toxic problems but like good children met and exceeded their targets and got on with their jobs epeciting the parent to reward them for their excellent performance.

    wasanRBSgradin1998nowaredundantGBMRM Reply
  23. RBS a “Titantic” that was overloaded with too many passagers, heading towards a “death” journey.

  24. I have worked for RBS for some time. They are going down the pan. I am fed up off being paid a pittance. Sales targets that are unattainable and when you start performing being investigated and then given the chop.. Just waiting to get out! People being suspended left right and centre. Not a great company to work for.

  25. RBS was a challenge for those involved in banks taken over – there seemed to be a ‘no holds barred’ ethos – ‘one of the biggest banks in the world so lend like one with confidence’ and if you didn’t and acted prudently, you were seen as not being progressive and were sidelined …or replaced….sometimes by an original RBS employee who was ‘fully indoctrinated’ and determined to sing the company hymn loudly and, in line with the recognised and rewarded behaviours, talk up the business ensuring not be seen to criticise it. I’ve been out of the lending arena for years (well before the takeover) but since, was privy to many senior management conversations where old fashioned prudence was openly disregarded by using sentences such as ‘….we might have lauded that before, but we have to move with the times…’. ‘Be indoctrinated or you career dies’ became the way of thinking – brainwashing and fear.
    It felt like Germany must have felt like in the 30’s and 40’s- maybe an extreme example but, for some…. – and Fred Goodwin acted like a dictator – creating the monument of Gogarburn to commemorate him – we were just waiting to see his statue erected…..I wonder was it on order????

    exemployeeandhappyout Reply
  26. I so agree with ‘exemployeeandhappyout 19 Jan 2010’. Having worked in a company taken over by RBS in recent years, the change in ethos was almost immediately palpable, and horrifying.
    It’s shameful – both what was imposed and what was allowed to be imposed! Those who raised their heads above the parapet were either managed out or halted in what would have previously been a strong career path. As a result, the business is haemoragging some of its greatest assets – so sad.

    exemployeetooandsad Reply

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