Royal Bank of Scotland will cut up to 700 IT jobs over the coming months.

The news comes on the day details emerged of its transition to a common technology platform, as part of a drive to cut costs.

The cuts are part of the 4,500 UK job cuts announced last month.

The 700 jobs to go include some in facilities management. The bank refused to say how many purely IT jobs were at stake. In February, a separate 2,300 back office job cuts were announced.

The bank, now 70 per cent owned by the taxpayer, is taking aggressive steps to cut £2.5 billion of costs in the next three years.

The move to an undisclosed common technology platform has been prompted by the acquisition of parts of ABN Amro, which it split with rivals Santander and Fortis in the largest ever banking takeover in Europe at approximately £48 billion.

A spokesperson at RBS said that ABN Amro brought "some jewels like the global payments services business, which is completely integral to global payments systems and requires an integrated common platform across many countries".

The bank is currently in dialogue with staff over the 700 cuts, and said it would keep compulsory redundancies to “an absolute minimum”.

Union Unite called the job cuts “a massive blow”. Most of those affected are in Edinburgh and London, it said.

Rob MacGregor, national officer, said: “Since the announcement by the bank in April that 4,500 people will be made redundant, staff across the company have been living with uncertainty about their future.”

Separately, he accused Lloyds Banking Group of “death by a thousand cuts”, after it announced this week it was cutting 650 jobs as its merger with HBOS continues.

“Staff must be told the company’s plans for the future of the organisation and not be left with the uncertainty that they could be the next to lose their jobs,” he said. A spokesperson at Lloyds said a number of roles were affected, but did not disclose the number of back office jobs.