BARCLAYS is planning to automate as many functions as possible across all levels of its global operations, it emerged yesterday, potentially removing the need for thousands or even tens of thousands of staff.
The British bank wants to save £2.7bn in annual costs by 2015 before extending the plan for another decade as part of a long-term drive to make the bank a more lean and profitable institution.
Staff from branches through to trading teams and back office workers are all expected to be affected.
One example of the new technology is an iPad app that enables branch staff to sign up new business customers in 30 minutes rather than 90 minutes.
And so-called no touch trading systems will be rolled out across 70 per cent of the bank’s trading operations, up from the 30 per cent currently covered.
The bank hopes to avoid sacking employees, instead planning for the long-term changes to allow natural shrinkage as staff leave but are not replaced.
Barclays currently employs almost 140,000 staff, including 34,000 in UK retail.