Another 2,000 jobs at risk at Barclays

Barclays staff in Kent face months of uncertainty after the bank announced it would be axing a further 2,100 jobs across its retail and commercial operations.

The news came 24 hours after Barclays revealed it was cutting 2,500 jobs in its investment operations Barclays Capital, Barclays Wealth and Barclays Global Investors.

The investment job cuts are not expected to affect its business in Kent.

However, the latest announcement could have an impact on the county, with about 200 staff employed at the bank’s Mortgage Loan Services business at Crossways, Dartford, and an estimated 300 people across its retail and commercial divisions at many locations in Kent and Medway.

The overall numbers at risk are a small percentage of the bank’s 150,000-strong global workforce - around 70,000 in the UK - but union officials at Unite, which represents banking staff, are worried that the economic downturn could mean more jobs will go. They have urged Barclays to "come clean" about the extent of its proposed job-cutting programme.

In a statement, Barclays said it was working with the union to minimise the numbers of people affected.

"We will take all possible measures to mitigate compulsory redundancies through redeployment, using natural attrition, releasing of contractors, closing vacancies and opening voluntary redundancy registers," it said. "We work with the individuals affected and offer them extensive one-to-one support.

"As in the past, and following full consultation with Unite, when firm decisions are made to change staff levels in the business, we communicate with our people and other relevant parties in the appropriate way. It is too soon to say how individual areas will be impacted."

Barclays and other banks have seen their shares plummet on fears that more bad news is likely to emerge. Barclays was not part of the Government’s £37bn banking bailout, preferring instead to borrow at a high interest rate from Middle East investors.

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