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Barclays Bank boosts IT staff and project spending

Angelica Mari

Barclays has boosted its technology staff and budget, according to the bank's full-year results released today.

According to the results, overall staff numbers have increased from 66,000 in 2009 to 67,000 last year across the firm's global retail banking operations. This is largely due to the insourcing of operations and the company's international development of IT infrastructure, as well as the development of Barclays Shared Services unit in India and the acquisition of Standard Life Bank last year.

Overall administration and general expenses in the banking arm increased, up 18% from 2009's figure of £5.56bn to £6.585bn last year. According to Barclays, the boost is mainly related to investment in technology and infrastructure, as well as greater regulatory-related costs and spending related to the buy-out of Standard Life Bank.

Costs at the firm's investment banking arm Barclays Capital were also up, according to the results, reflecting investment in areas including technology and infrastructure and increased charges relating to prior year deferrals.

The same pattern of increase in operating expenses was also verified across wealth management division Barclays Wealth, where costs were up by 19% to £1.349bn in 2010. Key factors prompting the increase include the start of the division's strategic investment programme, where £33m was spent in the first half of 2010 and £79m in the second half.

According to Barclays, the programme at the wealth management arm is focused on investing in the facilities and technology required to improve service delivery, as well as hiring customer-facing staff.

Overall, total group performance at Barclays reached £3.4bn, down from £3.7bn in 2009. The bank posted £6.06bn of pre-tax profits, up 32% on 2009 and exceeding market expectations. Profits at Barclays Capital nearly doubled to £4.78bn. Total revenue reached £31.4bn, also up on 8% on the prior year, while BarCap revenue sat at £13.6bn, a decrease of 25% on 2009.

Photos: Barclays hi-tech Piccadilly branch >>


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