IT jobs at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) remain under shadow as the bank announced plans to cut 2,300 back office positions in the UK.

The job cuts, which represent two per cent of the bank’s 106,000 staff, were announced the same day that former chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin apologised to the Treasury Select Committee for the bank's downfall. Goodwin, who was ousted after the £37 billion bail-out, told the committee that is investigating the collapse of the bank, that he “could not be more sorry” for what happened.

RBS, soon to be 68 per cent government-owned, is expected to report a £28 billion loss for 2008 next month.

The 2,300 job cuts will come from across the bank’s back office operations, and are expected to affect the operational units as well as branch staff who do not face customers.

The cuts include employees in administrative, human resources, and finance functions. A spokesperson declined to comment on how heavily IT employees would be affected.

The bank hopes to keep compulsory redundancies to a minimum, UK chief executive Alan Dickinson said in a statement. “We recognise that any news of this nature is unwelcome at any time," he said. "It is essential, however, that we consistently review our business to ensure that we are able to operate as efficiently as possible, especially in the current economic circumstances.”

Union Unite, which represents RBS staff, reacted with anger to the news. Derek Simpson, joint general secretary, said it was a “disastrous day” for financial sector workers. He added: "On the day that 'sorry' appears to be the easiest word for the bosses, 2,300 employees are left paying the price for management mistakes.”

RBS' job cuts follow a wave of reductions at other banks, including Barclays, UBS, HSBC, Credit Suisse, HBOS, Citi and ING.

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