The Bank of Ireland has been attacked for announcing more than 2,000 job cuts to the media before telling its own employees.
The announcement was made without prior consultation or negotiation, Colm Quinlan of the union Amicus said.
"The dignity and commitment of our members has been undermined by the bank's failure to follow the proper procedures."
BoI yesterday said it plans to cut 2,100 jobs, about 12 per cent of its workforce, as part of plans to take out 120 million euros (£84 million) a year in costs.
About 80 per cent of the job cuts will occur in Ireland and the remaining 20 per cent, representing 420 employees, will go in Britain.
BoI has a business-banking operation in Birmingham and retail branches in Sutton Coldfield and Solihull, but it is not yet known how they will be affected. The bank, Ireland's second-biggest listed company, said in a trading statement it expected to report a rise of about seven per cent in earnings for the year to March, in line with forecasts, as a strong performance in Ireland offset weaker results from its UK and asset-management operations.
"There was a good performance in Ireland, but the UK is deteriorating and so is asset management so I suppose there's a job of work to be done in those two areas," said Davy Stockbrokers analyst Scott Rankin.
Bank of Ireland said its UK Financial Services business would increase pretax profits by about two per cent for the full-year. At the half-year stage, this section of the business posted six per-cent growth.
Assets, under management at Bank of Ireland Asset Management, which has been experiencing sharp outflows following a poor investment performance, were expected to have fallen by 10 billion euros (£7 billion) in the year to the end of March.
Ireland's two biggest banks, Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks, are facing increased competition from new entrants with powerful parents, such as Bank of Scotland, which last week said it was acquiring new retail outlets in Ireland.
BoI chief executive Brian Goggin, appointed last year, has made cost cuts a key plank of his strategy to make the business more competitive and boost growth.
"Measured against the 2004/05 expected cost base, we are targeting an annual reduction in costs of 120 million euros to be achieved over the next four years," BoI said in its statement.
The cost cuts would include 2,100 job losses. BoI said it had received a number of expressions of interest for its Bristol & West deposit-taking operation in the UK and was evaluating options.
The group sold its UK financial advice business Chase de Vere earlier this year to German-firm AWD for 30 million euros (£21 million) cash as part of plans to focus on business banking, mortgages and consumer banking.