UK union Unite criticizes Barclays for plans to cut 900 jobs

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The UK union Unite recently reported that one of the nation’s leading banks, Barclays, is planning to cut 900 jobs in the UK. The union criticized the decision, calling it disgraceful.

Barclays claims the cuts are a part of its restructuring process

Commenting on the bank’s plans, Sharon Graham, the general secretary at Unite, accused the bank of making the move only to boost its already massive profits. The decision is intended to cut costs, but Graham believes that the reason behind it is greed more than necessity. “This is a mega-rich bank that is already on course to make eye-watering profits this year,” Graham said.

The comments were based on the fact that the bank made pre-tax profits of 6.4 billion GBP during the first three quarters of this year, from January to September 2023.

However, Barclays’ spokesperson stated that this is a part of the bank’s roadmap announced in October when Q3 results were published. At the time, the bank noted that it intends to take a number of actions that would simplify and reshape its business, improve its service, and deliver higher returns.

The bank stressed at the time that this would include changes to its headcount as management layers are reduced, and the Group continues to improve its technology and automation capabilities.

Recent reports said that the bank was actually planning to cut as many as 2,000 jobs, the majority of which were in back office roles, in order to make £1 billion in savings. But, even if the bank does cut “only” 900 jobs instead of 2,000, the timing is still considered as wrong by many, given that it will happen just before Christmas.

Online banking is eliminating physical locations of traditional banks

Barclays’ spokesperson did add that the bank is committed to supporting the impacted colleagues through these changes, although this will only be a temporary solution for the laid-off workforce.

It is also worth noting that Barclays is only one of the British banks that have seen massive lay-offs this year, as well as countless branch shutdowns. Many of the country’s banks have even announced additional shutdowns in 2024, as visitations to their physical locations are constantly dropping. This is simply a consequence of online banking becoming more dominant.

Consumer groups have warned that this will still harm numerous of the banks’ clients, particularly those who still rely on cash rather than cards, online wallets, payment apps, and alike.


Ali is a professional journalist with experience in Web3 journalism and marketing. Ali holds a Master's degree in Finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of leading cryptocurrency publications including, CryptoSlate,,, Business2Community, BeinCrypto, and more.