back to article Barclays to scrap 1,800 UK tech jobs

Barclays is to axe 1,800 IT jobs in the UK as part of a major business overhaul to set up technology centres in key offshore locations around the world, with 700 workers being forced out by September. The bank first told staff about its outsourcing plans in January this year. In a canned statement Barclays said it hoped to “ …


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  1. Kevin Thomas
    Thumb Down

    Glasgow - UK Centre of Excellence?

    Interesting reading. I know that there has been a "major" initiative by Barclays up here in Glasgow. This has seen a large number (approx. 200) staff being recruited to their new offices in the city centre.

    It would be interesting to know if Barclays will be keeping the staff they've just emplotyed, or will this new office be one of those taking a hit.


  2. Spearbox

    Not a suprise...

    Their management put a freeze on all recruitment. There are fairly high people leaving left right and centre.

    Knew something was up. Expect a massive downfall in share prices too.

  3. Andrew Moore

    So the simpliest backlash...

    ...would be for anyone who has an account with Barclays to close it and transfer their business elsewhere.

    After all, if Barclays are not going to put money in UK tech workers pockets why should we put money in Barclays shareholders/board of directors pockets.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I hope their systems crash through the floor and their SLA's get stuffed up their arses.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    So let me guess

    The wankers at the top are taking a cut in jobs and pay, too?

  6. Matt Thornton
    Thumb Down

    Yeh right

    "To achieve our ambition, we need to transform to a global organisation, able to serve the needs of our customers and clients who have operations around the world."

    Isn't that just management speak for "we're moving to India 'cos it's cheaper" ?

  7. TimM


    Not to worry. Once it's realised (like so many have) that quality drops with outsourcing, they'll be demanding UK techies again when things pick up.

    Though the worrying thing is the amount of skilled techies who are leaving the UK.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    IT jobmarket swamped with corporate drones desperate for work and driving down the salaries.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Not Surprised

    Barclays have been moving more and more tech job's to Singapore every year. Pretty soon there won't be any decent jobs left in the UK. However Barclays isn't alone as all big businesses are doing the same thing. "Centres of Excellence", more like "Centres of cheap labour".

    I find it a joke that our government sits back while the IT industry in the UK is decimated. I fear for our IT futures...

  10. Markie Dussard
    Paris Hilton

    Handbags at dawn!

    Barclays "sparked outrage among contract staff" by insisting they take a rate cut.

    Hmm. Greedy bankers vs. greedy contractors - where do my sympathies lie? What next - thieving estate agents vs. thieving used-car salesmen?

    Any contractor who accepted that is basically saying "actually I'm a disguised employee and please can I keep my stealth job". A contract is a contract. If one side doesn't honour it then you walk. If you are worth anything to anyone, you can get another contract. But if you cave, then you just gutlessly sold yourself cheap for the illusion of security, and you handed the other party the reins of control.

    No principles? No sympathy.

    Paris, because she doesn't pretend to be anything but a whore.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Why do we never see outsourcing of directors?

    After all paid more than IT workers in these large companies and India has had companies for as long as rest of world, so no lack of potential recruits with the right skills and even graduates can do better than most current lot earning millions

    sounds like an opportunity for someone in making money

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Barclays are a bunch of bankers

    Don't like the bank, never have and never will do - they supported apartheid in S. Africa and now the Mugabe regime. So we now know that IT techies are kaffers and no better than the "blecks". Wish they'd scrap their HQ in Canary Wharf too and move it to where it belongs - Hades.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Barclays, Pah!

    "centrally-managed technologies centres of excellence", AKA, Cheap Labour.

    Sounds like they are trying to make-up for all that sub-prime bad debt they are [not] holding.

  14. John Styles

    High skill economy strikes again

    But can the people in Singapore spell 'jobs' without an apostrophe?

  15. Steve Evans


    As a Barclays customer I was recently offered a load of shares by them... I chuckled to myself and declined... I'm sure there are some muppets somewhere who don't watch the news about the banking sector in meltdown, but I'm not one of them.

    I hope they kick out whoever was responsible for that god awful chip and pin calculator thingy that's required to do anything online these days, and shoot whoever it was that decided not to send them out automatically, but instead wait until the customer was suddenly hit with a "You need you chip and pin security calculator thingy do do this" on the web banking.

    Tossers, the lot of 'em.

  16. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Cinderella RockerFeller BetaTesting Total Information Awareness Systems.*

    That would be IT dictating Terms to Banking? And if you think it not, then think again. However, given the Present Failure of Fitness for Future Purpose of Banking, the Change in Gnomes of Stunted Intellectual Capacity will be a Change Welcomed and as Welcome as a Breath of Fresh Air in a Fetid, Sordid Room.

    * And also Bank of England Lead Credentials ...... for they do say that if you pay Peanuts you get Monkeys, ... ..... although Banking has its Own Line of Covert Remuneration to Protect and Perpetuate Fat Cats..... although the Keys to that Magic Trick are no longer Theirs Solely 42 Command and Control.

    Which you will notice is not a question.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ AC.

    "I find it a joke that our government sits back while the IT industry in the UK is decimated. I fear for our IT futures..."

    You're not alone matey - the government are doing the very same ATM with house building & construction in general.

    We'll be well & truly f*cked in a while at this rate. Best get that Maccy D's application form in pronto to beat the rush....

  18. Keith SLoan
    Thumb Down

    Barclays Outsourcing.

    If their outsourcing goes the same way as people who mover their called centres to India witness various ISPs, BT, HSBC etc then I am just glad I am not a Barclays customer. Glad I moved to Lloyds TSB who moved their call centre back to the UK if I remember rightly, least they said no to India.

  19. Andrew Webster

    Gee couldnt see that comming

    Switched bank accounts from Barclays after witnessing the contractor rate cut rubbish.

    not good news for the contractor market in Cheshire

  20. Anonymous Coward

    har har har

    Ha, good, share price is down to 255 today already, all the more for me come monthly sharepurchase time, I'm getting made redundant by the useless twats & icant wait to leave, they're a right bunch of skanky fucks and I hope they collapse up their own already heavily distended rectums

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @ steve evans

    Good job you didn't accept their stupid share offer --- by the time the letters went out the normal ord share price was lower than their offer anyway, I get them thru sharesave though as it's funded from pretax pay and then doubled by barclays - so about £1 this month then! They'll go back up eventually

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Barclay's another Northern Rock?

    It is not so much the share price but the people with accounts who are probably going to start to feel a little insecure here.

    A run on Barclays should make for good telly.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Ah, the usual then

    Contractor rates cut by 10% means a good chunk of your best geeks leave - the ones who are good enough to be snapped up elsewhere.

    After noticing the drop in productivity, then you offshore, based simply on the cost.

    After realising that there are huge benefits in having your geeks actually able to talk to the users, either re-hire them and lose money, or drive up your costs by using shoddy software.

    Isn't it wonderful how IT management and beancounters think. Or don't.

    Paris, because she's brighter than Barclays managers.

  24. pete


    No really. Of all the jobs I could be doing - why IT?

  25. Anonymous Coward


    i got into it because i like messing around with computers, but i'm not even allowed to do much of that nowdays, the % that is paperwork is only ever increasing. I have been thinking seriously of moving, both countries & job.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    @Markie Dussard

    "greedy contractors" - fuck off you total moron.

    You clearly haven't a clue about the reality of working as a contractor in the Financial Services market.

    Barclays are not alone in prematurely terminating their contractors - when this sort of shit kicks off in the city, most of the major clients follow each - its certainly just happened on the site where I work. At the moment its a case of work and pay the bills, or not. Handing them the "reigns of control" - eh? When did the big companies ever *not* have complete control over all who work for them?

    As for principles and being gutless - I bet *you're* not going to walk out when you get told your bonus is cut this coming year eh (Which it will). No, thought not.

  27. David Barlow
    Thumb Up

    Vision of the Future...

    Do you remember the visions of the future?

    First, it was hover cars on Tomorrow's World.

    Then, the masters of spin told us we were to become a knowledge-based society.

    But, in truth, we are now just victims to world-class-greed and short termism in the corporate world.

    Can we engage the outsourced light turning off division to schedule in UK plc please.....

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Contractors rates

    This is not the first time Barclays have effectivly fired and re-hired contractors at a lower rate. They did it in 2002 after 911. I was in a gap (really a gap, no-one was wanting to take on IT contractors) when they cut contractor rates by 25%.

    I was desperate enough, after 5 months of looking for roles, to accept a contract back at Barclays at more than 30% below the rate I had been working earlier in the year.

    And before any more people jump on the "greedy contractors" bandwagon, it's not nearly as lucrative as it used to be, because HMRC are much more interested in making sure that you pay the employees' Tax and NI, as well as the employers NI. All in all, I end up having less than half of the money that my company is paid available as 'take home' pay. Contrast this with the benefits of a favorable pension scheme, sickpay, and holiday that all permies expect, and contractors are not so much better off. I admit do take home more than if I went back to a permanent role, but I also have the uncertainity of not getting a contract at the end of my current one, and no possibillity of a redundancy package. And it's not like I can sign on without shutting down the limited company I am forced to setup.

    Barclays have asymetric notice periods for contractors (4 weeks them to you, contractors not able to get out of a contract before it ends), and this appears to be pretty common (my current contract allows the client to kick me out with just a weeks notice, whereas I have to give 4).

    Still, I have some pity for my ex-collegues in Knutsford (Radbroke Hall is the name of the Barclays campus there), especially any who had moved up from Poole after that location was announced to be closing, and who still face job uncertainty.

    BTW. It's noticible that the Barclays employment practices really changed when the Board became populated by high-flyers from the US.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Off-shoring doesn't work

    RBS tried it...and are now back on-shoring (or laughably as they now call it near-shoring! Seriously...)

    Only way to make offshoring work is be a truly global organisation and there are only a handful in that league in financial services. THEN you're fighting a continuous arms-race of salary and rates increases to keep the best of your off-shore resource who walk at the first better offer.

    And given the disparity in the global economy (EMEA = fucked, Emerging markets = making squillions) you'll shortly be speaking an argentinian or brazilian for your next phone banking experience...just watch

    Paris because she's been an emerging market for years - the slut

  30. Frederick Karno

    oh dear never mind

    just another company i will put on my list not to deal with.

    How many of the top men at Barclays responsible for the gambling spree they went on are still in their jobs ???

    it actually shows how little respect they have for the computing side of their business when they have contractors handling the data not a good plan in the long term methinks at a time when you are going cap in hand to share holders wanting to instill confidence in them.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Global organisation??

    "To achieve our ambition, we need to transform to a global organisation, able to serve the needs of our customers and clients who have operations around the world."

    When did Barclays become a global organisation? Just setting up some offices in other countries and call themselves global? Then HSBC and citi group etc should call themselve organisation of the universe........

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want to frame that letter...

    To be honest, I think the permies who are still mentally awake and genuinely interested in technology will look back at their redundancy as the best thing that ever happened in their lives.

    In BarCap, programming is something junior employees must do before they succeed in management.

    Technological skill is not respected - yes, they are sometimes praised, we like to encourage you - and innovation is not wanted: predictable and manageable systems are the limit of their ambition. Which is in some ways understandable - praiseworthy, even - but deeply dispiriting the the true geek.

    What's worst is that BarCap hire some of the very best in every field, and turn them into bored and demotivated losers who have, somehow, lost their ability to innovate and push the boundaries and, eventually, their ability to program in anything that doesn't run on PowerPoint, during their inevitable assimilation into besuited dullardry.

  33. Stu
    Thumb Down


    Oh come on, this is the company that outsourced its entire Project Services division to Accshiteure - they're clearly used to substandard projects, delivered badly (as was the case when I was working there in the PMO - half of the PMs didn't know arse from elbow, and had clearly just been on a 3 day Prince2 course - yeah THAT qualifies you to be a successful PM...) - so if they can get substandard projects, delivered badly, even cheaper (by offshoring), why wouldn't they? Normally the standard argument against offshoring is quality control issues, but they managed to get rid of that in the UK 4 years ago when Accshiteure got involved......

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Outsourcing is dangerous

    The outsourced IT team has no interest in maintaining knowledge of the systems they develop and support. They put people in place for three months against a particular system and then move them on to maintain their interest and improve their experience. Years later when you ask "how does this work?", nobody knows. So expect that

    - the service offered by Barclays will deteriorate over the next few years

    - it will cost Barclays in the long time as they have to reverse engineer their systems to work out how they work

  35. Anthony

    @ AC Re: Contractors rates

    "Barclays have asymetric notice periods for contractors (4 weeks them to you, contractors not able to get out of a contract before it ends)"

    That is a common clause in the boilerplate of most agents (not specific to Barclays). But you do realise you can change those clauses before you sign it, right? Your agent will whinge, but changes should be accepted if not outrageous.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Barclays bonuses

    One Barclays director got a bonus of £14.8m in February after the outsourcing deal was announced in January:

    Two unrelated stories but it does stink a bit. Why not have a year of no bonuses for directors and maybe show a bit of loyalty to their British staff?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disgruntled ex IT staff...

    ...with the right attitude, could probably make far more out of Barclays (and other organisations like them) once they have left armed with sufficient knowledge of their systems. Just need to work together a little more closely.

    There's just no money in being honest I guess. Look to Leading industrialists, Bankers, Politicians, Royalty and the mass media for example. To be honest anyone who has REAL wealth. Deceive, cheat and collude and you'll probably do pretty well. Worst case scenario these days in this country (UK) is you get locked up (though more likely community service, oh no!) which in all honesty is kinda like Butlins only with less redcoats. They food is comparable as is the entertainment, plus you get to meet loads of other people to swap ideas, exchange techniques, and generally network with other likeminded people who were unfortunate enough to get caught.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Collectively speaking ...

    I'd just like to remind everybody that when talking about lots of bankers, the correct collective noun is a "wunch".

    I'll cet my goat ...

  39. John Munyard

    A bit daft really

    The irony of all of this of course is that because most of the major banks (both retail & merchant) are all currently busy setting up offshore operations (again) there are far too many jobs chasing too few qualified/experienced people in Mumbai & Chennai.

    As a result it's not actually that cheap to hire our there any more. You've just got to love capitalism havn't you! I wonder if info on current offshore salary trends has reached the Barclays' board yet?

  40. Anonymous Coward

    @ Keith SLoan

    Lloyds TSB are as bad if not worse than the others. They publicly made a fuss of brigning back the customer service centres to the UK after a bad reaction from customers, and then what do they do..? They outsource their IT departments. These days jobs are either in India, or they bring people over from India on contracts.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i have a barclays account :/

    but not for much longer

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm Anyone wanna go Fishing ;p

    with a Big Boat...

    with a very-very long chain...

    and even bigger...

    supa sharpened Anchor...


    maybe somewhere perhaps...

    off the coast of Egypt and Turkey or even off the Arab Peninsular.

    maybe they might then reconsider if thier IT helpdesk is taken down to sub-wet-peice of string speeds for remote support from all those 'coked-up' Djames's in mumbuy at the IBM IT supa-unavailable helpdesk center.

  43. MnM


    what is the deal with lop-sided notice periods? I would feel under no obligation to serve out notice longer than that which I'd be offered. As for contracts which have to be served until they end, how can that possibly be enforceable? and what would they really do if you walk?

    loving the new barclays overdraft facility though, perhaps they had their own contractors in mind.

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