Contracting at RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland)

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RBS, or the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, is an insurance holding company and a bank which is based in Edinburgh in Scotland. Their range of brands and banking services includes business and personal banking as well as corporate finance and insurance, and the group includes subsidiaries such as Drummonds Bank, Ulster Bank, National Westminster Bank and Coutts, making it one of the largest banks in the world.

The RBS Group employs nearly 119,000 people world-wide, with more than 23,000 working in their UK retail division and nearly 14,000 working in their UK corporate arm. Many of these roles go to contractors and these aren’t limited to those which require financial expertise – there are plenty of jobs in IT, marketing, human resources as well as positions for those with experience in retail and in customer facing roles.

RBS group have a recruitment section on their website which includes details of all the roles currently available throughout the whole of the UK and across all their brands, including Natwest, their Markets and International division, Coutts and at the RBS Group’s corporate offices. The site also includes interviews with current employees and details of the recruitment process alongside information about the kind of details they will need you to supply and the checks that will be made should you be successful in your application. You can apply online and register your interest if there are no suitable vacancies when you look.

There is also a website specifically designed by Allegis Group Services for the recruitment of applicants for RBS’s contracting opportunities within their Markets and International Banking sector. They have offices based onsite in RBS’s offices and recruit for roles across the UK, but more specifically in in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Manchester and London.

For more information on finding contracting work in your region, visit our Contracting across the UK hub here.

RBS look to recruit for contractors within the IT, finance, risk, change, operations and central services. You can search for roles by location, business area and type of position, submit your CV and register your interest in working for RBS by joining their talent community.

Anyone looking for a role in the financial sector should consider seeking the support of a specialist recruiter for help with updating their CV and researching which institutions might have a vacancy for you. From larger agencies who have specialist departments, such as Reed and Hays, to agencies who only deal with jobs in the financial services industry, dealing with someone who already has a relationship with the relevant recruiters could be help you to narrow down your options.

The RBS deal with contractors working under umbrella companies, as limited companies or as PAYE, but what are the advantages and disadvantages of both company structure?

Contracting through an umbrella company

Working through an umbrella company will see you typically take home around 60% – 65% of your contract rate.

Using an umbrella company means you will essentially become an employee of the umbrella company. You will submit time sheets to the umbrella who will invoice the end client for the work done. The responsibility is down to the umbrella company to retrieve your money. Using an umbrella company means less take home pay than that of a Limited company as you will be paid as a PAYE employee, less the umbrella fee.

Contracting through your own limited company

As a Limited company, you will on average take home around 75% – 80% of your contract value.

The main savings with a limited company over an umbrella are around National Insurance and the Flat Rate VAT Scheme but for a more detailed understanding on the difference in take home pay, visit our: Take home pay – limited company or umbrella page.

Setting up your own Limited company is very straightforward. It takes just 5 minutes on the SJD website with your company set up within a few hours. Forming your company requires a one of cost of £125 + VAT, with SJD this includes:

  • Helping to organise a Company Bank Account
  • Registering the Company for VAT and PAYE
  • Advice on the optimum share structure of your Company

Being VAT registered means you can reclaim VAT on purchases that you have been charged VAT on. Most contractors take advantage of the Flat Rate VAT Scheme which is provided by the government to help simplify taxes. This means you charge VAT on your invoices at the prevailing rate (20% in 2014) but pay back HM Revenue and Customs at a lower rate. This rate depends on your job type. For example as an IT contractors you repay HMRC at 14.5%, however will only pay 13.5% in year one due to the first year 1% discount, with the difference as extra profit for the contractor.

Once you start contracting through your own limited company you simply invoice your end client at the end of each job and then complete a simple spreadsheet each month – our clients use a simple bookkeeping spreadsheet which takes then on average approximately 15 – 20 minutes of administration work a month.

You will then need to decide on appointing the right accountant for you. An accountant will help you through the tax minefield and also prepare and submit your annual accounts. SJD are the UK’s largest provider of fixed fee, limited company accountancy services to contractors. We offer all clients:

  • Unlimited face to face meetings across the UK – Only SJD offers unlimited face to face meetings – tax is complicated and sometimes only a meeting will do.
  • Access to their own dedicated accountant – No call centres, no outsourcing, no automated call handling. Simply telephone, email or meet your own dedicated accountant*.
  • Our Customer Promise – Respond to any question sent to your accountant or any dedicated department within 24 hours.  If we need more time, we will update you as soon as we can and we promise to keep you informed of the progress we are making in answering your question.
  • Outstanding reputation – We have won more awards for customer service and accountancy excellence than any other firm in our market.

Still not sure if SJD is for you? Why not read our choosing an accountant article for more information. Alternatively for more information on contracting, or guidance on setting up your own Limited company, why not speak to a member of our new business team on 01442 275789 or email:

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