Select Committee on Treasury Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the TUC

  Thank you for your invitation to give evidence to the Treasury Committee into Banking. The TUC has seen the evidence presented to the Committee by UNIFI, which is affiliated to the TUC, and fully endorses their submission. I would like to draw your attention to the following points in particular.

  We share UNIFI's concern that the banks may use the remedies proposed in the recent Competition Commission report as a rationale for further cost-cutting. As you will be aware thousands of jobs have been lost and around a fifth of branches closed in the last five years. We believe that further cuts would be damaging to customers and vulnerable communities, as well as to employees. The banks' response to the proposed remedies should be monitored to ensure that it does not have a detrimental impact on quality of service, access to services or employment relations.

  The TUC believes that employment relationships have a significant impact on productivity and profitability, and there is an increasing body of evidence to support this. This is particularly true in a sector like banking, where customer service is at the heart of the industry. The developments in banking services in recent years have brought not only job losses, but also major changes in work organisation and skills. Work reorganisation is most likely to succeed when employees and their representatives are involved in planning and implementation of the changes. This should be acknowledged by industry managers and regulators.

  I would like to take this opportunity to wish you success with your inquiry.

27 May 2002

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