Grim day for UK bank workers

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Grim day for UK bank workers

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Royal Bank of Scotland is to cut 3,500 jobs in its investment banking section and sell or close divisions dealing with shares and mergers and acquisitions.

It also plans to lay off 950 people at its troubled Irish unit Ulster Bank — 600 in the Republic of Ireland and 350 in Northern Ireland.

RBS, which is 83 percent owned by the UK government following bailouts, plans to reduce risk and focus more on domestic retail and corporate banking.

It aims to cut the balance sheet of its former global banking and markets business by 120 billion pounds (144 billion euros) to 300 billion pounds (360 billion euros) in the next three years.

The government has demanded that RBS shrink its investment bank further, despite the bank already halving that part of its business over the last three years.

RBS will now stop trading shares and advising companies on takeovers, both loss-making businesses, in arguably the starkest retreat by a big investment bank as the financial crisis and tough new rules hit profits across the industry.

At the same time Barclays announced it is cutting up to 422 staff in technology support.

Barclays said the cuts are due to a restructuring of its technology and infrastructure division and most of the jobs affected are in Britain, with some overseas.