British banking giant Barclays (LON: BARC ) has announced plans to cut approximately 450 jobs across its operations, despite reporting more than £1 billion in profit in the second quarter of this year. The move, which represents around 1% of its UK workforce, was revealed by trade union Unite on Tuesday.
The job cuts come at a time when the bank is benefiting from rising interest rates, which have increased the cost of borrowing for customers while boosting the bank's lending profitability. The decision to reduce staff numbers has been criticized by Unite as "unnecessary and unjustified", given the bank's profitability and the current cost-of-living crisis.
Unite national officer Dominic Hook expressed his concern about the impact of these cuts on families. "If these plans for compulsory redundancy are implemented then hundreds of families will lose their livelihoods and face financial hardship because of a management decision which is both unnecessary and unjustified," he said.
Hook further emphasized that those affected are not the high-earning city bankers, but rather employees with modest salaries who have worked throughout the COVID pandemic to deliver high customer service. He added that these workers deserve better treatment.
In response to this criticism, a spokeswoman for Barclays said that the bank is adapting its operations based on customer interaction patterns. She stated that these changes will enable greater collaboration across teams and improve service for customers and clients. Barclays also committed to supporting its staff through this transition, working closely with Unite.
Unite has voiced its opposition to these job losses and is pushing for a guarantee from Barclays' CEO of no compulsory redundancies. The union is also working towards retraining and redeployment opportunities for affected staff members.
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