Barclays retail shake-up to involve consolidation and offshoring - FT

Barclays retail shake-up to involve consolidation and offshoring - FT

The UK's Barclays Bank is preparing to overhaul its retail banking operations under plans which would entail shuttering processing centres and shifting more jobs offshore, according to an unsourced report in the Financial Times.

The leaking of the impending shake-up at Barclays follows news last week of the recruitment of ex-Citigroup executive Frits Seegers as head of global consumer and commercial banking.

According to the FT report, Barclays is considering a numbr of options for its underperforming retail business, from increasing its high street presence in prime locations to re-siteing its Woolwich operations in designated areas within Barclays' banches.

"The bank is also set to reduce the number of processing centres in the UK and increase the number of offshore jobs," says the FT, without providing any sources or details.

Barclays became the first UK bank to negotiate a framework with labour unions over the outsourcing of jobs to low-cost countries under a pact agreed in January 2004.

Responding to the latest report in the FT, Keith Brooks, national officer with Amicus, says the union will be using the agreement to manage any changes to UK employment when offshoring occurs.

He states: "To date Amicus has been successful in ensuring staff either have the opportunity to be redeployed or they can choose to take voluntary redundancy. The union is confident that this practice will continue into the future."

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