Bank staff set for final day after job cuts

HUNDREDS of banking staff will leave their desks for the ­final time today as a city centre ­financial hub closes its doors.

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Just months after Barclays announced it would axe 244 jobs at its processing centre in Nelson Mandela Place, dozens are now facing an uncertain future.

The banking giant announced late last year that the lease for the office, which deals mainly with payment protection insurance (PPI) claims, would not be renewed on the ­current site.

The closure of the site, which has been based in the Athenaeum building since 2006, left 137 permanent and 107 temporary staff from across the city affected.

Rob McGregor, a national officer from Unite said the union has been working to help staff find other jobs including at ­National Australia Group (NAG), which owns Clydesdale bank.

Mr McGregor said: "There was 85 applications were received from Barclays to NAG and at the last count we understand 50 of those have been offered jobs, which is a step in the right direction."

One employee, who wishes to remain unnamed, said he was "dreading" the prospect of job hunting, and added that morale in the office "was already battered before the announcement was made."

He said: "I'm frustrated to be leaving at this time and I haven't found a new job yet because I was concentrating everything on a job lead that didn't pan out."

He is concerned about coping financially and said: "The Barclays wage wasn't exactly riches, but it was liveable, and the extra couple of hundred pounds in bonuses ­every three months helped take care of the unexpected expenses.

"I'm feeling uncertain, since I don't know how long it will take to get a new job."

Another employee, who has worked with the firm for more than five years and has not yet found another job, said his colleagues were anxious about the closure.

He added: "It wasn't a shock as it was something that had been ­discussed for the last couple of years, but I'm apprehensive about leaving somewhere I've worked for so long."

The Evening Times understands that some staff have been transferred to the Barclays Wealth division at Charing Cross, while others have been looking externally for new opportunities.

A Barclays spokesman was unable to confirm the number of employees who had found new jobs, but said: "We have already successfully redeployed a number of colleagues into other Barclays roles and continue to work closely with local agencies and employers to find other alternatives."

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