Royal Bank of Scotland is scrapping bonuses for 20,000 staff in an attempt to avoid future mis-selling scandals.
Instead, those who work in NatWest and RBS branches as well as those who work in customer service in call centres are being given pay rises intended to compensate them for the loss of bonus potential.
Union officials urged other financial institutions to follow the move by the 74% taxpayer-owned bank, which like rivals has been embroiled in the payment protection insurance mis-selling scandal.
Rob MacGregor, Unite’s national officer for finance, said: “Unite has long campaigned to end the hard sell in retail banking and here we see RBS moving away from sales target-based bonuses, resulting in a pay rise for the majority of retail staff. It is time for other banks to follow suit and end the hard sell.”
Bonuses for retail staff do not reach the levels of those working in other divisions of the bank and amount to about £2,000.
The move to end bonuses follows an announcement by RBS chief executive Ross McEwan in 2014 to end teaser rates on products such as credit cards in an attempt to become more customer-centric. Among the changes is the scrapping of 0% balance transfer deals on credit cards.
Staff were told about the changes to their pay on Wednesday by Les Matheson, head of retail and business banking for RBS and NatWest. “No other big bank has done this,” Matheson said.
The sales and bonus culture in banks was highlighted by a £28m fine on Lloyds Banking Group in 2013, after one employee was found to have been so desperate to ensure he did not get demoted or miss out on his bonus that he sold himself one of the financial services products.
This article was written by Jill Treanor, for theguardian.com on Thursday 19th November 2015 09.08 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010