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Mediator poses Ulster Bank restructure

Thursday, August 07 12:28:56

The negotiations between IBOA and Ulster Bank's senior management on the future of the bank have reached a crucial stage with recommendations for a restructuring that would see jobs cuts and branch closures.

The announcement today of the recommendations of the independent mediator, Mark Connaughton SC, aims to provide an agreed framework for the substantial restructuring programme proposed for completion by the end of 2016.

The restructuring programme, which follows a major review by the Bank's Scottish parent, RBS, is widely expected to involve additional job cuts and further branch closures, a statement said.

The mediator has recommended that future job reductions should be based on a volunteer-led process involving voluntary redundancies and voluntary early retirement and should also focus on facilitating the redeployment of staff to alternative roles as far as possible.

Mr. Connaughton's recommendation covers the compensation to be made available to employees who opt to depart - as well as providing appropriate mechanisms to address the concerns of staff who will remain after the wide-ranging re-organisation - especially in terms of the protection of their terms and conditions of employment.

"Mr. Connaughton's recommendations on the framework for future discussions on the implementation of the restructuring programme bring the engagement between IBOA and Ulster Bank's management to a new level," said IBOA General Secretary, Larry Broderick.

"While a number of elements contained in the previous restructuring arrangements have been reaffirmed in the mediator's recommendations, they also envisage some changes which require further clarification with both the mediator and with management," he added.

"Our IBOA Ulster Bank Executive Committee will meet early next week for a detailed consideration of the recommendation and of the feedback from our members before deciding its formal response. We recognise, that even if there is no change in the ownership of Ulster Bank's business in the Republic of Ireland, our members throughout the island of Ireland are facing into another period of profound. So we will aim to ensure that the change process is managed with as carefully and as fairly as possible in the interests of staff and customers," said the IBOA leader.

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