“300 or so advisers” will be transferred across to the new Joint Venture with Schroders according to George Culmer, Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Culmer let the cat out of the bag when he was responding to a question from an analyst following the publication of the Bank’s Q3 results last week.

Staff in Wealth Management will be understandably concerned that the Bank is telling analysts what’s happening before it’s had the courtesy to speak those staff who will transferring to the new Joint Venture. The fact that some of those staff might not want to move to the new business makes Mr. Culmer’s slip of the tongue, assuming that’s what it was, all the more regrettable. He should have kept quiet.

The Bank and Schroders have been discussing the Joint Venture for months and all of the important details will have been agreed already including the exact number of staff from both organisations that will be transferring to the new business. The Bank is treating Wealth Management staff like idiots if it expects them to believe that an agreement has been reached to set up the Joint Venture but nobody knows how it’s going to work. If Mr. Culmer can wax lyrical about how he expects the new business to operate with referrals from the LBG franchise to the Joint Venture and how he expects it to grow over the next few years, then you can rest assured that staffing, terms and conditions and work locations have been decided already.

The Bank needs to come clean quickly and tell staff exactly what’s going on rather than simply saying it’s “business as usual”. It’s not “business as usual” and the sooner the Bank understands that the better. Staff are worried about the future and the Bank needs to respond to those real concerns with more information about what’s going on, sooner rather than later.

TUPE Regulations

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, known colloquially as TUPE, are an important part of UK law which protect employees whose business, or part of the business they work in, is being transferred to another company. The regulations’ main aim is to ensure that, in connection with the transfer, employment is protected.

However, one of the many drawbacks of the legislation is that when it comes to terms and conditions of employment it only protects those elements that are contractual. Although, what the Bank considers to be non-contractual may be different to what we consider to be non-contractual. Significantly, future pension benefits in the new employment are also not covered.

There are a number of key issues that those transferring to the new business will need to think about and those were discussed in our last Newsletter. That Newsletter can be found here.

We will keep members informed of any developments but in the meantime members with any questions can contact the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 262868 (Chose Option 1) or they can email us at 24hours@btuonline.co.uk.

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