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Barclays IT staff were shocked to receive an emailed warning today that more jobs are likely to be lost at the troubled department.

The department lost 700 staff last year in a round of layoffs as part of a planned cut of 1,800 staff by 2011. Then in January Barclays laid off 400 people whose "roles and responsibilities are unclear". These losses were split - 150 were permanent posts and 250 were contractors.

This time an email, signed by IT boss Jim Ditmore along with Suresh Viswanathan and Ah Boon Lee, warns that Barclays "Global Retail and Commercial Banking" relies on effective technology to drive its growth.

It has three aims: To create a more efficient organisation - which will require removing of duplication and will "consolidate support functions"; to respond to business demand - which means the department might have to engage contractors and other partners; and to "rightshore our organisation" - as a result of which there will be job losses.

The email, which was seen by The Register, predicts 700 job cuts in 2009. It is not clear whether this is included in the original figure of 1,800 job losses in total. We asked Barclays but they haven't got back to us yet.

The bank is working with union Unite on the process.

The email pledges: "We recognise that colleagues will be eager to learn more about what this means for them and, therefore, commit to working as swiftly as possible and keeping people informed along the way. We will communicate more about our plans as they progress and you can expect to hear from us within the next couple of weeks."

Morale has been low for some time as projects have been cancelled or are struggling for resources. There have been several job cuts and compulsory pay cuts for contractors.

Although there were rumours that Ditmore would be "trimming", that was expected to be through natural wastage or a few very targetted redundancies. ®

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