Fresh finance blow as Barclays to axe 400 jobs

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The finance sector suffered a fresh jobs blow yesterday when taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland said it was cutting around 3,500 job while Barclays revealed plans to axe more than 400 posts under “essential changes” to its technology and infrastructure division.

RBS said its decision came as it attempts to shrink its investment banking arm, Global Banking and Markets (GBM), which has employees in Stoke, Manchester, Edinburgh and London among 18,999 worldwide. The move follows Government pressure for the 83 per cent state-owned bank to pull back from its ambitions to be a global investment player.

The job losses, to be made over three years, come amid reports that John Hourican, the head of GBM will pick up £4 million in long-term incentive shares that he was awarded in 2009.

Barclays said it would be making every effort to mitigate compulsory redundancies, pointing out the 422 job losses represented 0.74 per cent of its UK staff.

David Fleming, national officer of the Unite union, said: “Unite strongly opposed the sending of some of this work to Lithuania, when there are already highly trained workers carrying out this work. The vast majority of jobs will be going from Radbrooke Hall, Cheshire. There will also be jobs cut in Northampton and a scattering among other sites around the country.”

Barclays denied work was being transferred to Lithuania.

A spokesman said: “We need to make essential changes to our technology and infrastructure division so that we can innovate in new technologies and services for our customers, and be as effective and efficient as possible.

“Whilst this will mean job losses, we will make every effort to mitigate compulsory redundancies and are working closely with Unite and impacted staff.”