Royal Bank of Scotland to cut 618 jobs
The Royal Bank of Scotland has said it will cut 618 jobs in response to new banking rules coming into force at the end of 2012.
The bank, which is 82%-owned by the government, said it was having to make the cuts because of the new Retail Distribution Review legislation.
Under the new rules customers will be charged a fee for investment advice from a qualified professional.
But the bank said it would also be creating 351 new non-advisory roles.
The job cuts come on top of the 35,500 already made since the financial crisis struck in 2008.
The Unite union described the job losses as "brutal".Less demand
The incoming Retail Distribution Review legislation puts an end to financial advisers earning commission on the products they sell to customers.
From 2013, they will have to charge an up-front fee for advice instead, as part of moves towards greater price transparency in banking services.
"If you take a free service and start charging for it, fewer people are going to use it," an RBS spokesperson told the BBC, explaining the job cuts.
RBS intends to continue offering fee-based financial advice to customers, whereas other banks have said they will not.
In a statement, RBS said: "From 31 December 2012, customers will be charged a fee for the advice they receive from a qualified professional.
"If our customers choose financial advice for investment products, the costs will be made transparent at the outset.
"As a response to this, we will be reducing the number of roles by 618 across UK and creating 351 new roles."