Scottish Affairs Committee: Press Notice

Announcement 08 of Session 2008-09

Committee writes to RBS following its evidence session on Banking in Scotland

The Scottish Affairs Committee has today (23 March 2009) written to Gordon Pell, Deputy Group Chief Executive at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, to clarify evidence he gave to the Committee on Thursday 19 March 2009.

During the evidence session, Mr Pell gave an indicative figure for RBS job losses in Scotland of around 260. Following his appearance before the Committee, representatives from RBS told the media that no firm figure for job losses in Scotland had been agreed. This has led to public confusion.

The text of the Committee’s letter to Mr Pell is:

Dear Mr Pell,

I am writing to you in connection with the evidence you gave to the Scottish Affairs Committee on 19 March.

You were asked by Mr Mundell MP if you could give a figure for job losses in Scotland, and you replied “if I had to come up with an exact figure, it would be like 260”. You then said “it could be 270, it could be 240, it’s not 800”.

After the meeting, RBS suggested, via a spokesperson, that no firm figure for the number of jobs to be lost in Scotland had yet been agreed. This has been widely reported in the press.

Whilst we appreciate that your answer clearly explained that the figure of 260 was not precise, you did indicate that assessments had been made that job losses would be in the region of 260, which the RBS announcements after the session appear to contradict.

The Committee members are concerned that the evidence you gave appears to be inaccurate, and that there is now public confusion regarding RBS job losses that can be expected in Scotland. I would be grateful if you could urgently explain the disparity between the answer you gave the Committee and the information subsequently given to the press by RBS.

Mr Mohammad Sarwar
Chairman of the Committee


FURTHER INFORMATION:

1.   Committee Membership is as follows: Mr Mohammad Sarwar MP (Lab, Glasgow Central) (Chairman),  Alistair Carmichael MP (Lib Dem, Orkney and Shetland), Ms Katy Clark MP (Lab, North Ayrshire and Arran), Mr Ian Davidson MP (Lab/Co-operative, Glasgow South West), Mr Jim Devine MP (Lab, Livingston), Mr Jim McGovern MP (Lab, Dundee West), David Mundell MP (Con, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale), Lindsay Roy MP (Lab, Glenrothes), Mr Charles Walker MP (Con, Broxbourne), Mr Ben Wallace MP (Con, Lancaster and Wyre) and Pete Wishart MP (SNP, Perth and North Perthshire).

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