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RBS preparing further cost cuts

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is planning to implement a new programme of cost cutting under the leadership of new head Ross McEwan.

According to Sky News, the plans will be announced alongside the bank's annual results in six weeks time, under the codename Project Cook.

The plans have not yet been finalised, but Mr McEwan, who had success cutting costs at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, has told colleagues he expects "very substantial" cuts to be identified as part of the review.

Since 2008, when the bank was bailed out by taxpayers' money, it has cut its workforce by a quarter, with more than 40,000 staff leaving their positions.

Chancellor George Osborne and UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the 81 per cent stake taxpayers have in RBS, are being kept informed of the progress of Project Cook.

Despite the cost cutting measures being planned, RBS looks set to make a significant investment in its IT systems, following a number of high-profile technical issues that left consumers unable to access their accounts.

By Asim Shah