Barclays to move hundreds of back-office jobs to India

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Barclays is planning to offshore hundreds of roles at its troubled investment banking unit to India in a bid to cut costs, The Independent has learnt.

The bank is understood to have dispatched a team to recruit and train new staff there to replace workers in both London and New York.

Separately, the bank announced consultations with UK staff at the investment bank over what could be substantial job losses as a result of new chief executive Antony Jenkins' "Transform" programme. They are designed, said the bank, to "optimise the business".

The company refused to comment on the number of staff who will be affected by the offshoring but the final number will likely be in the hundreds. Those affected will be largely those in back-office and support functions.

Barclays was hit by fresh scandal over the weekend when it emerged that a highly critical report into its American wealth management division was suppressed by a senior manager, who has since quit without a pay-off.

That came just days after Mr Jenkins told all 140,000 members of staff to clean up their acts or leave in a letter last week.

News of further offshoring and job losses could generate fresh controversy, particularly among unions, given that the roles slated to move to India will be primarily relatively modestly paid ones.

Analysts and investors want to see more action to curb top bankers' pay at the company. Those in higher pay grades are seen as having caused most of its problems, including the £290m in fines when highly rewarded traders attempted to manipulate Libor interest rates. They argue that the way the banks' money is shared between top bankers and shareholders, who risk their money to back their activities, has moved too far in the direction of bankers.

Mr Jenkins will next outline his plans for the bank at a strategy presentation on 12 February, although he is expected to resist calls from some investors to hive off the investment bank.

He has made a number of moves already, such as the appointment of Hector Sants, formerly chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, to head up relations with the Government and regulators.

With a package that could top £3m he has been dubbed "the most expensive compliance officer in the City".

A Barclays spokesman said today: "As part of our ongoing location strategy, we have been and will continue to move roles from one international location to another. This strategy will deliver improvements in our processes for the ultimate benefit of our clients."