Barclays Bank is planning to axe 200 jobs at its IT department, fuelling speculation that it is planning to pull the plug on its $350 million desktop outsourcing deal with EDS.
According to a report by The Times, almost one in ten of the bank's IT workforce will be affected by the cuts, which will mainly affect middle and lower-level staff.
A Barclays spokesman confirmed that the bank was preparing to announce redundancies at its IT division, but did not confirm numbers.
The Times says that the bank would not comment on speculation among IT workers that staff were now being graded from A down to D in performance reviews, with those receving the lowest grade most likely to lose their jobs.
News of the possible job losses will add to speculation that the bank is preparing to ditch a seven-year desktop outsourcing contract signed with EDS in 2003. At the time the deal - which covers more than 41,700 desktop places - was one of the largest to be signed by a UK bank.
Barclays told Times reporters that its was reviewing the "nature and structure" of the EDS contract but did not disclose any further details.