Royal Bank of Scotland investment banking cutback memo

This is the internal email sent by Chris Kyle, chief financial officer of Royal Bank of Scotland's global banking and markets business:

As we head into the last quarter, there is a current need to further tighten and minimise the rate of spend on non-staff costs. The cost category governance forum has highlighted areas of opportunity to reduce spend.

To put this into effect, we need to amend the ability to incur costs at a Global and Regional level. These changes will limit the ability of the organisation to spend, and impose a higher level of authorisation than currently exists today.

The following changes will be implemented with immediate effect:

1. Technology

Freeze on hardware and software spend to be implemented for the remainder of the year. Direct approval rights to be withdrawn from cost centre users. All hardware and software spend must contain the approval of the relevant ExCo member and Regional CFO so that it can be considered on an exceptional basis.

For Global Programmes, a weekly exception process will be implemented. The Committee will comprise Stephen Norman, Alexis Tobin and David Shalders.

2. Market Data

No new premium terminal spend to be incurred for remainder of year. Cancellation of non-essential information services. Cancellation of all real-time services in L&C.

All spend to carry approval of ExCo member and Regional CFO. Exception process as above.

3. Consultants

All spend without exception to be approved by Suneel Kamlani. Additionally, in flight consulting engagements and planned spend until end of year to be submitted to Suneel Kamlani for re-validation.

4. Contractors & Technical Specialists

All contractors and technical specialists to take a mandatory two week vacation from 19 - 30 December 2011.

5. Travel

All international travel for internal purposes is to cease across all areas including Markets, Banking, Logistics and Control. Approval process to be operated regionally. For L&C all travel to be pre-approved by relevant regional CFO (Carol Mathis for Americas, Richard Place for APAC, Alexis Tobin for EMEA) prior to booking.

Additionally, all staff are reminded that all travel under four hours duration will be in economy class without exception.

Late working taxis home - The existing policy that allows employees to take a taxi after 9pm will be amended to after 10pm.

6. Entertainment

No staff entertainment for remainder of year. End of year party subsidisation to cease.

7. Marketing

Internal marketing to cease for remainder of year e.g. Cessation of brochures for internal use, internal marketing videos for Town Halls

External spend to be re-reviewed by Suneel Kamlani.

8. Periodical / Newspaper / Magazine Subscriptions

No new subscriptions to be approved for remainder of year.

9. Training

No new external training to be booked for remainder of year.

10. Telecoms

No new approvals (blackberry, headsets, etc.).

11. Offsites

Without exception there will be no GBM offsites until further notice. GBM staff attendance at Group-led offsites will be heavily restricted and now require pre-clearance and approval from the relevant ExCo member.

All current exceptions to policy will be re-reviewed with the expectation that existing out-of-policy will require re-approval or curtailment.

Please cascade the above to your leadership teams.

Chris Kyle, GBM CFO