The worst business loss in UK history
By Russell LynchGo To Original
Part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland today unveiled losses of £24 billion for 2008 - the biggest in UK corporate history.
RBS - nearly 70 per cent owned by the taxpayer after a £20 billion rescue - also announced plans to sell off swathes of the business.
The beleaguered bank plunged to the losses after a catastrophic year when the crisis sparked by the failure of Lehman Brothers brought it to the brink of collapse.
RBS racked up bad debt charges of £7 billion and wrote off £16.2 billion on its disastrous acquisition of Dutch bank ABN Amro in 2007.
Derek Simpson, joint leader of Unite, said: "These historic and humiliating losses bring into sharp focus just how reckless RBS's former management team have behaved.
"The whole country is paying the price through job cuts and repossessions on a massive scale. It is time to take control and fully nationalise this bank.
"You cannot have a state bailout on one hand while allowing the spectre of thousands of job losses to loom over staff on the other.
"The Government has set a precedent for intervention in the day-to-day running of RBS. They must now intervene to protect the workers in call centres, branches and back offices who are the victims of the credit crunch, not the culprits.
"The staff at this bank should not have to pay with their jobs. We will vigorously oppose any compulsory redundancies."
Mr Simpson said the union "was extremely frustrated" about the lack of any firm details about jobs, adding: "The uncertainty hanging over the heads of these workers is unacceptable."