We will be accused of scaremongering again but let’s be clear the 124 job losses announced yesterday, which we were the first to publish, are just the beginning and there will be hundreds of jobs lost before Debbie considers her work done. TSB is being managed ready for a sale or merger and the likeliest candidate is CYBG, Debbie’s old stomping ground. And for those who like a good conspiracy, Darren Pope, who set up TSB with Paul Pester and was instrumental in the IPO and takeover by Sabadell, sits on the CYBG Board.

TSB is now simply following the Lloyds playbook and the appointment of Robin Bulloch signals to staff what’s going to happen over the next few years. ‘Commerciality’ is the new buzz word, again stolen from Lloyds, but what it really means is more sales. Debbie’s strategy is a simple one: reduce costs and increase sales. It’s not rocket science but in the process of achieving that, TSB is going to lose its unique identity, which it spent years building, and become just another bank.

TSB will say again we are trying to scare staff but members will remember 2 years ago when we said that following migration the bank would cut costs drastically. We’ve been proved right.

More For Less

Those that are left following the latest round of job losses will be expected to do more with fewer resources. Branch staff will be expected to take on more responsibilities for the same pay. So, cluster managers who managed 3 branches will now be expected to manage six branches. Furthermore, staff will increasingly come under pressure to be more flexible in their working hours and working days. And if they don’t become more flexible, then the bank will try its best to manage them out of the business.

Staff are going to need a strong, independent union to protect them against the onslaught and not one that’s in the bank’s pocket.   

Low Hanging Fruits

TSB’s decision – taken at the highest levels of the bank – to persecute staff who complained following the migration meltdown needs to be seen in the context of this week’s announcement. If the bank can avoid paying redundancy costs by getting rid of staff on the cheap through the disciplinary process on trumped up charges then it’s going to do it. The bank will be looking for any small mistakes or under-performance which it will use to try and bully staff out of the bank on less than the agreed redundancy terms. We dealt with a recent case involving staff in two branches who were offered “Golden Handshakes” to leave the bank on a fraction of what they would have got under the agreed terms.

There is only one union who is prepared to do what it takes to protect members against such bullying, and it’s not Accord.

Sales, Sales, Sales

It will be the word that no one speaks. The pressure to increase sales is going to be relentless. And those who don’t sell are going to be managed out of the business by the bank. We have already seen an increase in the number of forms staff are having to complete justifying every interaction with customers. And increasingly staff are being asked what products they discussed with customers and why no business was done. Robin Bulloch, the new Customer Services Director, will make it a little bit more sophisticated but the message will be the same: staff will only be as good as their last set of sales figures.

We will discuss some of these issues in more detail in forthcoming Newsletters. In the meantime, members with any questions or comments can contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1).

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