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Cost-cutting Barclays bank swings axe on 5,600 IT and ops bods

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Barclays will axe about 5,600 IT and operations staffers in 2014 in a massive restructuring effort. The at-risk techies work across the retail and investment arms of the British banking group.

The plan is to achieve £1.6bn in savings by scrapping about 14,000 full-time staff over the next 12 months, a move unveiled on Thursday morning. The IT and operations employees facing the chop make up 40 per cent of that number.

In all, between 10,000 and 12,000 peeps were expected to lose their jobs this year, but the confirmed number is even higher and some 9,000 people will be made redundant in the UK as a result.

Bank bosses hope to make 19,000 layoffs over three years; the group today has a global head count of 139,600.

IT and operations are taking the second-biggest hit after the bank’s front office and "distributions" departments, which will make up 50 per cent of the announced 14,000 cuts.

Staff will be let go during what Barclays called a “firm-wide” organisational review with "duplicate" job titles and functions eliminated.

The London-headquartered bank promised automation of IT platforms across the group and a march into a digital future – in other words, a focus on smartphone banking and its own-brand of mobile payments called Pingit.

IT infrastructure will also be consolidated, the bank told investors today [PDF]. Underlying everything will be a move to shared services.

Like many big banks, Barclays has developed a structure that includes several overlapping layers.

Until early this year, Barclays CIO for Retail and Business Banking for Europe and Middle East and Global Operations Anthony Watson had a whopping 12 European CIOs reporting to him. In addition to that, Watson's own department included its own COO, CFO, chief digital officer and chief architect, head of projects and programmes and head of strategy and planning. Watson in turn reported to the COO of Barclays Europe, Matt Chung. The CIO moved to a role as CIO of sports brand Nike earlier this year.

The role of the European CIOs will now be in question as Barclays’ retail banking in Spain, Portugal, Italy and France are to be shifted to "non-core" operations.

The group appointed a new CTO and chief operations officer, Shaygan Kheradpir, in early 2013, reporting to the CEO Anthony Jenkins.

The cuts come on top of Barclays slashing 1,700 frontline staff from its branches, which was announced in late 2013. The bank avoided having to take a UK government handout after the global economic crisis of 2008, but was and still is notorious for paying the highest bonuses to City slickers. ®

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