Abbey cuts 26 PR jobs following restructure

LONDON - Abbey has axed 26 PR jobs as part of the restructure resulting from last year’s takeover by Spanish bank Grupo Santander.

Abbey's 45-strong employee communication division has born the brunt of the cuts, with 21 of its staff dismissed by the middle of March. Head of employee communication Sarah Larvor remains in place with 24 staff.

Abbey head of media relations Christina Mills said the bank had also made five of its 15-strong press office redundant, comprising of the loss of three PR jobs through the closure of the bank's Glasgow office and another two job losses in London.

In addition, Abbey's investor relations department, which has three IROs including head of investor relations Jon Burgess, is to be axed later this year, having been made largely superfluous by the Santander buy-out and delisting of the UK bank.

Mills said four jobs were similarly under review at Abbey's shareholder relations department, which handled relations with Abbey's smaller shareholders, many of whom acquired shares in the bank following its demutualization in 1989. Shareholder relations staff are on secondment to Santander.

Abbey's public affairs and community relations team, which has six staff including head of PA Gazala Haq, has not been affected by the cuts. But Haq has taken the new title of head of government and community relations with additional responsibilities for Abbey's corporate social responsibility and charitable trust formerly dealt with by shareholder relations staff.

Mills insisted that the restructure of Abbey, which was announced last August and involves 3,000 job losses across the group, would not affect her position or those held by Haq, Larvor and Abbey director of comms Thomas Coops.  

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