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Abbey National is laying off 335 IT staff as a result of its merger with Santander Central Hispano.

The firm will cut 200 jobs from its Milton Keynes office, 85 in Belfast and 50 in Glasgow. Another 240 staff from business banking and Abbey's online bank Cahoot are being offered transfers to Isban - the SCH subsidiary which is replacing Abbey's IT systems.

SCH is relying on technology to cut £300m from Abbey's costs by 2007. It is ditching much of Abbey's technology and moving the bank onto its own technology platform, called Partenon.

Abbey said in a statement: "A further 150 IT employees will be offered roles within ISBAN, a separate company owned by Santander. ISBAN will rollout Partenon, Santander’s industry leading banking IT platform, across Abbey."

The bank is cutting 3,000 jobs in total but IT staff should be spared further reductions.

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