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