After just having announced that more than 2,000 staff members would be made redundant due to budget cuts, RBS is again the centre of public outrage as the result of a memo mistakenly emailed to 800 staff members of the bank. It was an innocent error on the part of a Hays recruitment employee, but an error that will be quite costly for bank management.

In the memo, which was only meant as a reminder to submit time sheets, there was a file attached that outlined the billing rates for some 3,000 contractors and to make matters worse, the attachment included the names of those contractors. Under ordinary circumstances this would have been bad enough, but the rate of pay which those contractors receive is what is causing an extreme amount of resentment and anger.

Keeping in mind that the Royal Bank of Scotland is virtually state owned since the bailout package purchased 83% of the shares in RBS. In other words, UK taxpayers own controlling shares of RBS. So what is the problem? The memo revealed that RBS contract 3,000 workers who are being paid a rate of £2,000 per day. This equates to half a million Pounds annually if they were to be contracted for an entire year.

Taxpayers and employees alike are asking how this travesty of justice could have been allowed to transpire at a time when 2,000 regular employees are being let go because the bank is losing money. It goes without saying that there will most likely be an investigation of major proportions and the current outrage is just the tip of the iceberg.

In response to public anger, an RBS spokesperson could only say that the bank was ‘disappointed that confidential personnel data had been shared.’ This just added fuel to the fire because there was no apology as to the injustice of firing staff whilst paying contractors more for just one day than some employees make in a month.

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