back to article RBS is to lay off 92 UK techies and outsource jobs to India – reports

The Royal Bank of Scotland is cutting 92 techies’ jobs in plans to outsource them to India, according to reports. The partially taxpayer-owned bank is slashing a total of 334 jobs, according to trade union Unite, while The Scotsman newspaper breaks that figure down as 154 contractors to be let go by the end of this year, with …

  1. hplasm Silver badge

    92 Techs-

    -but no beancounters?

    Shurely shome mistake?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 92 Techs-

      but no beancounters? Shurely shome mistake?

      I live in the netherworld of "support functions", and I'd guess that the turds that manage RBS offshored as much as possible of their finance function years ago. Techies are not being discriminated against, they're just the same as any other "human resource": Something to be bought as cheaply as possible, and sod the consequences.

      Personally, if elected god-emperor, I'd require that RBS re-list somewhere more to their liking, such as the Mumbai NSE. I suspect investors there wouldn't be as tolerant of the boardroom "generosity" as those in the Crooked Mile.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: 92 Techs-

        Considering that UK Gov is the majority shareholder, I'm surprised they didn't manage to any of that fabled "joined up thinking" they are famous for and consider the cost to the country as a whole of putting people out of work by off-shoring jobs. It's not as if the UK is short of people looking for work,

  2. Tony S

    We've been here before

    Several times in fact.

    It didn't end well those previous times; there is no indication that it will do so now.

    RBS management don't seem to have learnt their lesson; and it's highly unlikely that they will do so, until the day that they get penalised for making poor decisions. I'm not talking about a slap on the wrist paid for by the company, but rather something that comes out of their pay packets, to reimburse anyone that loses out because of a failed system.

    1. Valeyard

      Re: We've been here before

      came here to basically write down your comment title

      haven't we already been down this road before? and haven't we learned shortly thereafter why it was a bad idea and a false economy?

    2. Gareth Douglas

      Re: We've been here before

      Accountability for actions in a bank? Are you nuts?

  3. OliP

    looking forward to more downtime and missing transactions then

  4. kain preacher Silver badge

    Breaking news. RBS webs site, ATM and entire back end is down. Management sits around with their thumb up their ass and blames hackers and or internal sabotage.

    1. VinceH

      "and or internal sabotage"

      Such as offshoring these jobs, so they'd be right.

      1. kain preacher Silver badge

        I was thinking it started with HR hiring those cheap C suits.

        1. ps2os2

          There is a video on YouTube about exactly this and how HR could get around the H1B visa issue and it makes one sick watching it. It is a step by step instruction video on how to get people cheaply for IT.

  5. Korev Silver badge

    As RBS moves towards becoming a simpler, smaller UK-focused bank

    Which is exactly why the jobs are being moved from the UK to offshore right?

    1. davidp231

      Maybe they still consider India as part of the British Empire?

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Well Wales is still part of the English Empire.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Well Wales is still part of the English Empire.

          Cobblers, mate. Wales is an Anglophobic public sector theme park. I know my recent ancestors made the correct decision to get out.

          1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

            A down vote I see. My immediate reaction to the article was to make some comment about at least being able to understand the call center after the move. I nearly said "funny comment" but quickly realised that I would just be relying on stereo types for a cheap laugh.

            So I went with a historical comment. Frankly I expected more down votes.

  6. Thoguht Silver badge

    In some industries, companies could rightly be criticised for offshoring on the grounds that, although they are exporting their own jobs, they are relying on other companies not doing the same so there's still someone left to buy their products in this country. However, the banks have worked out that this doesn't apply to them because even the unemployed need bank accounts these days.

    And yes, I am currently an RBS customer, but not for much longer.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be fair...

    92 is a hell of a lot of techies. What I suspect is actually happening is a downsizing.

    I cant imagine how shit a department of 92 permanent in house techies is. All those meetings and buck shifting. Jesus.

    1. streaky

      Re: To be fair...

      92 is a lot to fire by any standard. It sounds like they're getting rid of the entire tech workforce, or at least an entire department of it.

      RBS are going to pay dearly for it, some day, some how.

      Reminds me of this classic Gar1t sketch though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To be fair...

      It is no where near as bad as a bunch of incompetent outsourcing maggots.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: To be fair...

      "92 is a hell of a lot of techies."

      It certainly is. Could it be the entire 1st line staff IT support dept?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outsourcing to India works really well, ask Talktalk customers just how great their services are and that personal data never goes walkies to scammers.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A local bank for local people

    “As RBS moves towards becoming a simpler, smaller UK-focused bank"

    UK-focused and offshoring are mutually exclusive are they not??

    1. tfb Silver badge

      Re: A local bank for local people

      No, UK-focused and offshoring are not mutually exclusive. The UK-focused bit is about where the customers are, the offshore bit is about where (some) of the staff are.

  10. ma1010 Silver badge

    If you didn't figure this one out before...

    Given all the problems RBS has had in the past, I'm amazed they have any account holders left now.

    With this new announcement? Anyone who has a clue about IT and keeps their money in RBS - well, if you lose it all due to some "computer glitch," I don't think you should look for a lot of sympathy around here.

    If RBS were the only bank around, I'd be getting a waterproof container and a shovel. At the interest rates banks pay these days, you almost might as well just bury your money, anyway.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Indian skills? What skills?

    This is actually quite high from my direct experience of developers in Chennai and Kolkata.

    The don't have any initiative and need to be directed all the time.

    If anyone from RBS is reading this, get out fast.

    If you have an RBS account then move it ASAP.

    This won't work out well.

    When will the beancounters learn that sending jobs to India does not save money in the long run.

    We tried it and gave it 18 months. Then brought it back home. Projects are now back on track and ironically on budget.

    1. tfb Silver badge

      Re: Indian skills? What skills?

      I was waiting for the first (not-so-)crypto-racist comment: well done.

      Of course, Indian developers and systems people are just like everyone else: some of them are OK, some of them are fantastic, and some are not.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

        Re: Indian skills? What skills?

        But just like everything else , you get what you pay for.

        So if you outsource to an Indian code shop that will charge you £1 million for your project, you'll get a better quality product than an Indian code shop that will charge you £100 000.......

        But then the beancounters will look at those 2 rates, choose the cheapest, then wonder why 16 million transactions have gone missing .....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Indian skills? What skills?


        It's only racist if it isn't true. Of course there is a mix of abilities in India just the same as elsewhere. However, from personal experience, I can tell you that it is heavily biased towards the bottom end. In the mainframe world, just look at the various mainframe forums and see who's asking the questions and who's answering them. Also, look at the questions being asked. Many barely make Janet and John standard.

        So, yes, it's a generalisation as everything tends to be, but the average quality in India is definitely lower than here. It doesn't apply to mainframe either. The rubbish I've seen in almost every area defies belief.

        1. PNGuinn

          Re: Indian skills? What skills?

          Isn't one of the problems that if an Indian techie is any good he can earn relatively silly money in the US, UK or Yurrup. So all the good ones leave ... leaving the tat and the newly graduated. When the competent among the latter have gone and got some experience (ie made their mistakes and learnt from them) and got a decent cv they ... rinse and repeat.

          Note to beancounters:

          Pay peanuts - get monkeys.

          1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            Re: Indian skills? What skills?

            "So all the good ones leave,..."

            We lost one guy in a lunchtime. He nipped out to get some food, got talking to some guy in the queue, went back to work and cleared his desk. That rather scuppered the conf call we had scheduled for later that day.

            But this was always our problem interfacing with offshore teams, the sheer amount of staff churn.

            1. Brenda McViking

              Re: Indian skills? What skills?

              I'm in India managing a team that has been offshored here from Europe.

              Staff churn is indeed an issue - I regularly see someone being offered 50 pounds/euros/dollars more PER YEAR to work for a competitor and they'll take it. Our own HR are stupid too though, we'll offer an engineer with 5 years of relevant experience, (and speaking 2 european languages) 15 grand equivalent a year (European counterpart getting 50k), having spent a load on a 3 month secondment to Europe, and then come pay review (when finally they're in a position to actually contribute useful work), they'll try to fob off the Indian with a 5% raise, even when wage inflation here is 10%+, as the "HR global maximum raise is 5%." We also "don't entertain requests for pay-rises outside annual pay-review." So we can't counter a 50 quid job offer with a 100 quid retention payment (which whilst would be taken as a huge insult in Europe, would be well recieved here).

              I can't blame them, really. Simple, avoidable PHB management failure of cutting off your nose because corporate policy tells you to - one that RBS will undoubtably make too, given their track record.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wow the conservative party is confident. A government owned bank making voters redundant, a couple of weeks before the election? They are getting a majority of 100 and they know it. Instead of leaflets, they could shit in each voter's letterbox, and they'd still romp in. Never seen an election like it.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Confidence

      The inevitable effect of having no credible opposition. 20 years ago it was Blair and Labour who were doing that.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Confidence

        This stage of the Political cycle is hardly the time to bury bad news.

        The Tory party must be confident that this bit of news is not going to give the job of PM to Jeremy C.

      2. seanj

        Re: Confidence

        "20 years ago it was Blair and Labour who were doing that."

        Well, even 10 years ago they were doing that... At the time I wrote a letter to my MP about it, and got a response from Pat McFadden - then Minister of State for 'employee relations', and subsequently Minister of State for Business - who told me that offshoring jobs was a Good Thing as it enabled businesses to be competitive.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Confidence

      "Wow the conservative party is confident. A government owned bank making voters redundant, a couple of weeks before the election? "

      Depends where the jobs are. If they are in Scotland I doubt it will have any affect at all on any constituency outcome. Heard the story from other news sources too, and few mentioned the Gov. 74% shareholding and those that did, didn't make it an issue.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Ah, the joys of Indian coding...

    This will not end well. The people who've decided on the reductions are, of course, just the sort of idiots who'd complain if any service they received wasn't top notch; yet somehow RBS employees, customers and shareholders are just expected to bend over and get ploughed.

    If you have any sort of dealings with RBS, make 2017 your year not to.

    1. Zimmer

      Re: Ah, the joys of Indian coding...

      As a customer (since the days it was the National Provincial Bank) an enquiring mind would like to know which British banking institutions do NOT outsource ... in order to make an informed choice for 2018...

  14. HWwiz

    Yup, all gone to ComputaCenter's call center in India.

    Thankfully, us DC engineers stay for now.....

  15. DougS Silver badge

    It says "contractors" are being let go

    So why the hand wringing? The whole point of contract positions is that they aren't permanent, so those contractors shouldn't assume that their contracts will be renewed indefinitely. Contracts are not "laid off", they are "not renewed". Big difference!

    Now sure, customer service at RBS may get worse...though based on comments I see here and other places about them, it seems like that would take some doing!

  16. Stevie Silver badge


    A spokesperson said "This is a smart move. We consulted with the Indian staff after they had identified a problem with our IT, and agreed it would be easier just to transfer everything into their hands. It seems our vindows are infecting the internet wth viruses."

  17. binarythistle

    Can't have your cake...

    Assuming all those aghast at this proposal, (or other ones like it), have resisted purchasing cheap electronics made in a Chinese sweatshop – or is that ok?

    Globalisation is here to stay – get used it.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never let the truth get in the way of a good commentard

    Many of the comments above are critical of "offshoring" when the truth is that this announcement from RBS is not about offshoring roles.

    It is about removing roles in the ultra-expensive London.

    London staff cost 33% more than the rest of the UK, and that doesn't include the hidden costs of running offices in London. Salaried or day rate they are a premium price for the office location without any gain in skill, ability or dedication.

    Yes, a small number of new roles are being created offshore as a result, as are some in Edinburgh, Manchester and Poland, but the overall loss is a tiny percentage of the thousands of IT staff already working for RBS (those affected have my sympathies, but ultimately the numbers will make no difference to RBS service and reliability).

  19. Wolfclaw

    92 more techie jobs to go, are RBS desperate to emulate Natwest's I.T systems ?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And dont forget the Robots - it's easy maths

    A global bank operating in a developed country ends up paying around $100K for a fully loaded FTE. Place that same resource in an offshore environment and the cost comes down to $35K. With a robotic worker, that figure shrinks to just $15K. And when you take into account how the software robot is available 24x7—i.e. working 3 full shifts—and the fact that it operates between 2 and 5 times faster than a human, that $100K FTE is now down to the order of $1.5K.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outsourcing to India

    The place I worked was a large-major bank in the US. It decided to outsource their IT to India about 20 years ago. Management did not have a clue as to the issues (laws, technical issues, cultural) about doing so the only refrain we heard was to save money.

    After about 2 years of infighting and blaming the project was brought back to the US. I left before the fighting began. From what little I heard the contract was given to IBM. No idea what happened as a result.

  22. Jude Bradley

    So you won't be able to tell...

    If that phone call is really from the RBS or a scammer.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019