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Unite Union 'Astounded' As Barclays Announce At Least 2,800 Job Cuts After Profits Fall

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BARCLAYS
Unions are 'astounded' at admissions by Barclays that it plans to cut jobs. | PA

Banking group Barclays has announced a drop in profits of 33 per cent for the first half of 2010, and has said that while 1,400 jobs have already been cut in 2011 it expects that number to more than double over the rest of the year.

While the bank said that it made a pre-tax profit of £2.64bn, even after accounting for £1bn set aside for customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance, Barclays said that it had already shed 1,400 jobs in 2011.

Chief Executive Bob Diamond said in an earnings call that he was "pleased" by the bank's overall progress, but said the trend of job cuts was likely "to continue and increase somewhat".

Andy Case, Unite officer, said the union was "astounded" at Diamond's comments.

"It is not encouraging for his workforce to hear such throw away comments from their boss about their future job security," Case said. "Unite will be seeking clarification from Barclays and insisting that the management reassure their workforce who continue to work hard to deliver the highest levels of standards to the customers of the bank."

Barclays employs 145,000 people globally, with 55,000 of those jobs based in the UK.

It is not expected that the bulk of the anticipated cuts will hit UK workers, the Barclays having already said that it plans to scale back its presence in Spain.

However, the comments will still come as an additional worry to a banking sector already reeling from the 30,000 job cuts announced by HSBC yesterday following its own earnings report.

Barclays share price rose in earning trading due to low analysts' expectations, but profits fell in both the bank's retail and investment banking divisions.

Diamond offered support for the government in his earnings call, and said that the UK was "ahead of the curve" in its restructuring efforts.

Diamond also said that there is little chance of the UK losing its AAA credit rating in the immediate future.