Barclays cuts 1,800 UK IT staff

Jobs to be shifted to offshore centres of excellence

London-based Barclays Bank last month disclosed plans to offshore 1,800 of the 2,800 IT jobs at its UK operations to locations in Singapore, Hungary and India over the next three years. Barclays said in a statement that the offshoring move is part of an ongoing effort to transform itself into a more global organisation. "These changes are about putting in place the technology and systems to support Barclays in achieving its ambitions," the bank said. According to the statement, bank officials want to have "centrally managed technologies in centres of excellence" located in different parts of the world. Barclays said that the new approach "will allow us to follow the sun and be operational 24/7". About 700 jobs within the company's global infrastructure and service delivery (GISD) unit will be shifted out of the UK this year, Barclays said. At the end of the planned three-year transition, just 1,000 positions will remain at the GISD's UK facilities in London and on the grounds of Radbroke Hall in the town of Knutsford, in northwest England. The latter facility houses the bank's main datacentre. The offshoring strategy, which was approved by Barclays management earlier this year, will affect full-time IT staffers as well as contractors. The bank said that affected workers will have a chance to reapply for their jobs if they're interested in relocating to one of the overseas facilities. Unite, the union that represents the bank's UK-based IT staffers, said it had held "regular meetings" with Barclays officials to discuss the plan and to try to arrange what it considers to be fair terms for the affected workers. Employees losing their jobs would get three months' notice plus three months worth of redundancy pay, according to the union. An allowance would also would be made available to any staffers seeking external retraining, Unite said. This isn't the first offshoring move by Barclays, which last year announced a plan to close its customer contact centre in Manchester, England, and transfer some of the jobs there to facilities in India. In a separate cutback move, the bank also said last year that it would eliminate 1,100 jobs, including IT support and payment processing positions, as it automated cheque handling processes.

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