JERSEY CITY - National Westminster Bancorp plans to lay off 400 employees and eliminate an additional 100 jobs through attrition this year, the bank said Monday.

The reductions represent 5.8% of a workforce of 8,600 employees. The bank, a subsidiary of London-based National Westminster Bank PLC, said it expects to take a charge of up to $12 million in the first quarter.

"With slower revenue growth expected for the banking industry this year, financial institutions have to direct even greater emphasis at reducing costs," said John Tugwell, Natwest's chairman and chief executive.

Mr. Tugwell is trying to reduce the bank's efficiency ratio to 55% by the end of 1996 from its current 63%.

Cuts will be made throughout the bank, but half will come from consolidating the bank's wholesale and community banking areas.

The bank said it will offer outplacement services to affected employees.

National Westminster Bancorp, based in Jersey City, has $29 billion in assets.

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