The Royal Bank of Scotland, which also owns the National Westminster Bank in the UK, is outsourcing a lot of IT jobs to India and Poland. So far so uneventful, you might think – but you’d be wrong. A lot of people are very angry about this because RBS was among the chief beneficiaries of a State bailout in 2008 when the financial crisis hit; as a result there are many who feel that it should be creating British jobs by way of thanks rather than shipping them overseas.
This sort of reaction would have been inevitable anyway; add the current groundswell of opinion that appears to be pro-Brexit and a certain measure of protectionism and it looks positively toxic.
Banking is never having to say you’re sorry
The bank itself is unrepentant. According to this article in the Times in the UK, it pointed out that it now employed more people in its home country than it ever did before the crash. There is also the issue, not raised by the bank, of getting the best value for shareholders – and those shareholders currently include UK plc.
However, there’s always a distinction between doing the right thing and being seen to be doing the right thing. If the bank says there are more UK jobs now, it’s bound to be true. Nobody would lie about something as easily disprovable as that. However, the idea that it could be preserving more local jobs or indeed shipping them back to the UK needs to be addressed.
At the moment the bank appears to be doing nothing wrong except loading a large shotgun marked “PR” and shooting itself squarely in the foot.