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Innocent bank staff must not ‘carry the can’ for the rate riggers

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Unite, Britain's biggest union, has demanded a commitment from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) not to make ordinary bank workers in call centres and branches pay for the libor scandal with their jobs.

The 82 percent state-owned bank has been fined £390 million for its part in the libor rigging scandal. Unite has backed the business secretary, Vincent Cable's call for more individuals involved in the libor scandal to take responsibility for their actions through heavy penalties. Since 2008, 30,000 jobs have been lost at the bank and it has been ordinary bank workers, who played no part in the financial crisis, who have to bear the brunt of the cuts. Yesterday (5 February) in a message to staff ceo Stephen Hester said: “But we will also make the case for all of you who are working tirelessly to serve our customers and turn this bank around. The vast majority of you are doing us proud every day. I will talk more at the relevant time about how we can harness the lessons of this episode to good use. We have achieved a great deal, but we have a lot of work in front of us. I know that whatever knocks we take I can count on all of you to stay focused on building this company into the sort of bank we want it to be for our customers.”

Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: “Innocent bank staff must not be allowed to carry the can for the rate riggers. We expect Stephen Hester to make a clear commitment to staff in branches and call centres up and down the county that he will not make them pay the cost of this fine with their jobs, their pensions or in the form of pay cuts. “Mr Hester is right that the vast majority of RBS staff do a great job. Unfortunately, 30,000 of them have already paid for the folly of casino capitalism with their jobs. Today we say enough is enough. It is time for the culprits of the Libor scandal to take personal responsibility. We support Vincent Cable's calls for more individuals to take responsibility for their part in these financial scandals. It is time for state-owned RBS to put the words into action and value its staff in order to be a truly customer focused bank. “

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