Barclays axes 422 UK tech jobs

The bank will eliminate 422 technology posts in the UK as part of efforts to expand into new technology areas, according to Barclays
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

Barclays plans to get rid of 422 back-office workers in the UK, as part of a global cull of IT jobs.

The losses amount to almost one-quarter of Barclays's 2,000-strong technology staff within Britain, the bank said on Thursday. While Barclays is cutting operations and IT employees, it is looking to bump up its technology capabilities in areas such as mobile banking, which require workers with different skills, it added.

"We need to restructure our technology division," a Barclays spokesman told ZDNet UK. "Unfortunately this will mean job losses in the UK and outside the UK."

About 200 positions will be eliminated overseas, ZDNet UK understands.

Some of the British staff affected may be retrained or moved to other areas of the bank, the spokesman said. The bank will call for voluntary redundancies.

Staff at the bank's technology office at Radbrooke Hall in Cheshire will take the brunt of the cuts, and employees in Northampton and around the country will also be affected, according to Unite.

The union's national officer David Fleming described the job cuts as "a New Year's blow for the staff". He suggested Barclays has outsourced functions that could be done by local workers to an office in Lithuania.

"Unite has strongly opposed the sending of some of this work to Lithuania, when there are already highly trained workers carrying out this work," Fleming said in a statement.

ZDNet UK understands that in Lithuania there will be job losses as well as positions created, which will result in a net increase of 20 posts.

News of Barclay's restructuring came the same day the Royal Bank of Scotland said it planned to axe 3,500 investment banking positions, though the majority taxpayer-owned financial services company did not reveal how many of these roles are IT-related. When RBS eliminated the same number of positions over a year ago, 1,000 back-office, development and IT support staff were affected.

Barclays said the ongoing global economic instability played no part in its decision to make cuts.

"Technology moves very fast," the company's spokesman said. "No business can afford to stand still. We need to evolve and adapt for our customers."

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