Saturday, March 24, 2007

Royal Bank of Scotland threatens staff

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group has threatened its staff with disciplinary action if they do not have their primary bank account with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Apparently this affects some 14,000 of their staff and the union is taking legal advice. I cannot believe that such a term in a persons employment contract could be legal. If it is then a whole host of people in different lines of employment could find themselves under similar threat. Perhaps employees of the BBC should be banned from watching ITV or Sky. Employees at the Newbury Weekly News would not be allowed to purchase the Guardian. Employees at Tescos could not shop elsewhere. BT employees should be prevented from having a Vodafone mobile.

I understand that this behaviour is considered ok in the US where I read of a case of a guy who was sacked from a sports vehicle retailer for owning a Harley Davidson because they sold a different brand of motorcycle. Do we want to go down this road in the UK? I sincerely hope not.

As I understand it most banks offer their staff preferential rate on a whole host of financial products. Perhaps the bank might be better off writing to the 14,000 employees and reminding them of the benefits or perks of banking with the Royal Bank of Scotland as a member of staff instead of threatening them. I have contacted my local branch and complained about the way in which they are treating their staff and I hope many others will do the same


terencem said...

This is a bank which which is starting to think its image is impervious to public perception. Our own experience of working with RBSIF (Royal Bank of Scotland Invoice Finance) has been that if your A/R Ledger is in any way other than a simple invoice-out/payment-in (say Construction Industry like us), then you are going to have nightmares trying to work your way through the muddle they create with almost systematic obfuscation of the payment/posting trail. I am only sorry now that I didn't go with my gut instinct when they showed me the clunky old piece of software they use for communication (sic) - via dial-up modem!!!

In nine years of trading, RBSIF has been the biggest disaster ever to befall our company. Not only do they make it almost impossible to figure out what they have done, with the mountains of unnecessary paperwork they send you, but in our case at least, they collect less than 10% of the invoices you send them and apparently do not have the ability to allocate even those few payments correctly. That then leaves you with the task of finding out which invoices have been paid and then collecting the debts you thought they were going to collect for you. At the same time as handing you the collection task back again, they start to retire the remaining 90% your debt as 'too old' to collect and term it "ineligible" , and then deduct the ineligible balance + paid-out balance from any amount you thought you were going to be able to to draw down. Thus, you very quickly have NO cash-flow and end up doing all the collections on their behalf yourself. The complete opposite of the service you thought you were buying when you went to RBS in the first place.

If you chose to use RBSIF I hope your experience turns out to be better than ours, but if I had my time again, I would have nothing to do with them. I wish we had listened to all those that told us their horror stories about factoring. Our relationship with RBSIF has almost killed this company and if you are thinking of using them, I suggest you listen to the horror stories and ask someone, maybe here in this community, if they have a similar commercial profile to your business, what has been their experience of working with RBSIF. I wish we had done that; we might not now be in the mess we are in.

Anonymous said...

I started work for RBS in February. On the BBC article, they claim that all staff are made aware of the need for a company account at the time of interview. However, I only recieved a letter hidden within my contract through the post.
Having the benefits of a company bank account should be optional, and not forced on us. They've been nothing but unprofessional every time I've used them as a bank, too.