The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has been no stranger to controversy over the past decade. It has been embroiled in criticism over its mis-sale of payment protection insurance, sub-prime mortgages and its treatment of small business customers in its Global Restructuring Group turnaround division.
It has now been revealed that RBS reallocated highly skilled specialists from its complaint teams to the post room where they were paid up to £400 a day to post letters to customers. Speaking to the Press Association, one employee said, “It is purely because they have no organisational skills on the project we were on and was a complete waste of taxpayers’ money”.
As pointed out by The Telegraph, £400 a day equates to a little over £100,000 annually for loading envelopes if staff were to be carrying out this work every day.
This revelation comes at an inopportune time for the Bank which is still 62% owned by the UK government following its £45 billion bailout following the financial crash in 2008. In its attempt to radically cut costs, the Bank has been carrying out extensive branch closures with a list of over 200 having been announced. Many of these will be closing in the new year with many customers, especially those in particularly rural areas, being left with no RBS branch-based banking services. For older generations who have not made the switch to the online and mobile banking apps, this has the potential to leave them without any bank access at all unless they are prepared to travel to neighbouring towns or villages.
Many will, therefore wonder, when customers are being forced to settle for these cutbacks, how the Bank can justify such exorbitant costs being sent on stamping envelopes.
In response, RBS Chief Executive, Ross McEwan, said, “We do not hire contractors at this rate to do this type of work. When we employ contractors, they are paid in line with industry rates according to their experience and skills.
“There have been a limited number of occasions when we have used short-term support from other areas of our business to ensure we are delivering on time and in line with our commitments for our customers.”
It is unclear why staff were not hired at “industry rates” or why existing post room staff were not able to carry out the work involved. As suggested in The Independent, it could be that by attempting to ensure that complaint letters for PPI are sent out in line with deadlines set by the government, and in turn avoid the negative publicity if they failed to do so, the bank has caused a secondary scandal that could otherwise have been avoided.
If you have been a victim of misconduct by any UK’s banks, then Seneca Banking Consultants are here to help. We are one of the leading claims management companies in the country for securing redress. Please feel free to get in touch on 01204 322 805.