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Queen's bank Coutts to fire Bristol, IOM staff

Voluntary redundancies requested, or else...

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The Queen's bank, Coutts, is definitely outsourcing its IT, causing concerns about staff that will be lost and posing questions about the future of the bank, which deals with many accounts of both the very rich and very famous. Last Sunday, The Observer suggested such a move might be underway. Today, a source very close to Coutts Natwest Group showed The Register the definitive IT memo confirming the facts speculated last Sunday. According to the memo, which we have seen and which was delivered from Tony Hemming, director of IT at Coutts Natwest (CNGIT), to many IT staff at the joint banks, there will be a "number of initiatives which will result in a small number of IT positions no longer being required." Hemmings added in the memo that voluntary redundancies will be asked for first, but added that it could not be guaranteed that compulsory redundancies would be ruled out. Staff, particularly in the Bush Lane Bristol office and in the Isle of Man (IOM), are being asked today to apply for voluntary redundancies between now and the second of December, according to the memo. Further, Hemmings said, he is consulting the unions involved to see what can be done for those staff who cannot be sorted in the move. The union in question is UNIFI. Yesterday, Her Brittanic Majesty of the United Kingdom (Queen Elizabeth II), who banks at Coutts, like her sister Princess Margaret, delivered a speech on behalf of Tony Blair's government promising open government once more. Neither Coutts nor the NatWest Bank could be contacted at press time about the leaked memo. The source also showed The Register the IT roadmap ahead, although she was keen not to give us a copy. Hemmings is promising he will keep the IT staff updated on any new developments. His memo went out to the IT staff today. ®

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