Page last updated at 13:13 GMT, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Hundreds to lose jobs at Barclays

Canary Wharf seen from above
Union leaders described the job cuts as a "serious loss"

More than 400 workers - mostly in London - are expected to lose their jobs as Barclays Bank announced a review of its operations.

The jobs, in its IT departments, are principally in Cheshire and London, the bank announced.

It said it would try to avoid compulsory redundancies by releasing contractors and closing vacancies.

The union Unite described the job cuts as a "serious loss", especially in the current economic uncertainty.

Barclays said in a statement: "As part of the review process, we have identified some aspects of our technology operations where the organisational structure impedes performance, and roles and responsibilities for colleagues are unclear.

"In some cases, roles are obsolete or being duplicated elsewhere within the bank."

Derek Simpson, joint leader of Unite, said 410 jobs would be lost.

"At this time of economic uncertainty, staff across the industry are working under immense pressure and there is a great deal of nervousness regarding their job security."

He added: "This loss of jobs, all of which are highly-skilled roles, is a serious loss to the UK's skill base."

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