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article imageRBS shares gain on reports bank could axe 30,000 jobs

By AFP     Feb 21, 2014 in Business

Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland gained on Friday as reports said the state-rescued bank will next week announce about 30,000 job cuts in a major cost-cutting exercise.

RBS stock climbed 1.15 percent to 359.8 pence on London's benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was up 0.43 percent in early deals.

Newspapers said the announcement of a jobs cull, which could total at least 30,000 according to the Financial Times following a shake-up of the lender's investment banking and international divisions, would be made alongside its annual earnings statement due on Thursday.

Other reports said that tens of thousands of posts could go over the next five years.

RBS, which employs about 137,000 staff, declined to comment on the reports.

RBS was rescued with £45.5 billion (55 billion euros, $75 billion) of British taxpayer cash at the height of the 2008 global financial crisis under the then-Labour government, making it the world's biggest-ever banking bailout.

Former chief executive Stephen Hester earned the respect of the business community by axing 41,000 jobs, selling non-core assets and transforming the balance sheet at RBS, during his time at the helm.

However Hester left RBS last year, reportedly at the request of Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne who wanted a new face to help guide Royal Bank of Scotland's return to private ownership.

New Zealander Ross McEwan has since become chief executive of RBS, which is 81-percent owned by the British taxpayer.

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