Barclays head count could be decimated. The chief exec of Barclays, Antony Jenkins, has predicted that increasing automation of basic banking services may see 40,000 staff let go.

Currently Barclays has around 140,000 on its pay roll. If correct, that's close to a 30% cut in staff numbers. The start of a massive redundancy program?


Smaller head count?

Sky claims boss Jenkins, following meetings with shareholders, speculated the bank will start to pursue a 'self service-orientated route'. "He was talking about how the bank needs to be more efficient in general terms," a source close to Mr Jenkins told the media outlet.

"It's about how we do the same or more with a smaller headcount, but there is no specificity about how much smaller."

However a figure of 40,000 is being bandied about though there is no clarity on the breakdown between the operations of the bank's investment arm, and the retail side (Barclays has more than 1,600 branches in the UK). It's thought Barclays wants to save £2.7bn in annual costs by 2015.

New priorities

A Barclays source told AOL Money that Jenkins' comment was taken out of context. "There are no plans at all, aside from the impact of IT." An odd comment given that it is the impact of IT on Barclays' long term strategy that's the focus of interest here.

He added: "Our plan is to grow in many of the markets. More growth will mean more jobs. It's likely to net out. It's speculative."

Barclays has just employed a new chief operating and technology officer, Shaygan Kheradpir, who commenced his role yesterday (he's the ex vice president and chief information officer of Verizon Communications).

Clue to the future

For clues on what Kheradpir has been up to recently at Barclays, Banktech.com claims Kheradpir was involved in "staff restructuring that aimed to improve communication between the technical and business sides of the bank's operations department".

Clearly, Barclays is looking hard at staff head count. Meanwhile Barclays has disclosed that 428 of its employees earned more than £1m last year.