National Westminster Lays Off 65 in U.K.

LONDON - National Westminster Bank sent 65 computer staffers home Tuesday - on what unions termed "gardening leave" - until the bank decides on the future of their jobs.

A bank spokesman said staff from two of its information technology centers were sent home on full pay for an indefinite period.

NatWest said it plans to cut 200 jobs from its technology operations. Some 130 staff have accepted voluntary layoffs, but the bank has yet to decide whether 70 others can be redeployed.

The Banking Insurance and Finance Union issued a statement accusing the bank of "rail-roading staff out of their jobs."

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