Wednesday 12 August 2020 1:58 pm

Coronavirus: Natwest to slash 500 jobs and shut London office

Natwest today said it will cut at least 500 jobs across its retail business and shutter one of its London offices as it battles to cut costs during the Covid-19 crisis.

The bank said it will carry out a voluntary redundancy plan affecting 550 roles in its branches and premier banking service.

It will also close its Regents House office in Angel, which served as one of the bank’s biggest tech hubs and can house roughly 2,500 employees.

“We have taken the decision to invite applications for voluntary redundancy and will support those colleagues who apply with a comprehensive support package,” a Natwest spokesperson said.

“There will be no compulsory redundancy as a result of this announcement.”

In total roughly 800 staff members are expected to leave in the redundancy round once part-time workers are included, Reuters reported, citing the Unite union.

Natwest said the Regents House office closure followed a review of its London property strategy. The bank added that it would reconfigure its two remaining offices in the capital at 250 Bishopsgate and 440 Strand.

The state-backed bank has already said that most of its staff will be allowed to work from home until next year.

The cuts mark the latest step in Natwest’s efforts to slim down its operations ahead of a surge in expected loan losses prompted by the pandemic.

It comes days after it emerged Natwest will oust three senior executives at the helm of its Natwest Markets division amid a renewed focus on its retail and commercial arms.

Chief executive Alison Rose has outlined a target of saving £250m this year, though most of the cuts are expected to come in the second half as the Covid-19 outbreak delayed action.

The move came on the same day that official data showed the UK economy has entered its worst recession on record.