Royal Bank of Scotland could be cutting as many as 80% of the jobs in its investment banking unit over the next four years as part of a massive restructuring meant to turn around the struggling bank’s fortunes.
The Financial Times reported Tuesday that RBS (RBS), which has been scaling down its investment banking business, plans to layoff up to 14,000 people in that unit by 2019. The majority of the job cuts will come in the U.S. and Asia, according to FT. The Wall Street Journal had said last week that the bank could cut more than 1,000 investment-banking jobs in the U.S.
Last week, the bank unveiled its restructuring plan — code-named Project Brown — that includes efforts to reduce the bank’s size and turn most of its focus to U.K. operations. The bank said it would retreat from 25 of the countries where it currently has operations, reducing its international locations to 13 countries. The bank is also selling its North American loans business to Japan-based Mizuho Financial Group for roughly $3 billion.
RBS CEO Ross McEwan is trying to turn around the bank, which posted its seventh-straight annual loss last week. RBS reported an annual loss of $5.4 billion in 2014 after taking a write down of more than $6 billion on its U.S. arm, Citizens Bank.