IT jobs fear as Reuters prepares for more cuts

IT staff at Reuters are bracing themselves for job losses following speculation that the news and information group is planning...

IT staff at Reuters are bracing themselves for job losses following speculation that the news and information group is planning to cut 1,000 jobs across the company as part of a continued cost-cutting drive.

Reports over the weekend suggested that Reuters would scale down its software development departments in response to the continued economic downturn and reduced expenditure from City customers on Reuters terminals and information services.

Reuters has already shed around 2,500 jobs in the past two years. A spokesperson refused to comment on the speculation over further job cuts ahead of the group's annual results next month.

Analysts said that Reuters was still suffering from the burst of the dotcom bubble.

"Part of the dotcom bubble was based on greater access to financial and news information," said Graham Fisher, senior analyst at Bloor Research. "Reuters did very well on that but now the market has slowed down and there are more competitors."

The company last year cut IT contractor rates by up to 20%. Shortly afterwards Greg Meekings, appointed chief information officer last September, said he was considering outsourcing some of Reuters' IT services.

The latest speculation over job losses marks a bleak start to the new year for IT professionals at Reuters, and the City as a whole.

IT departments within the financial services sector have been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn as firms have squeezed technology budgets to cut costs and put new projects on hold.

Both Reuters and rival Bloomberg are keen to bolster revenues by offering a wider range of information services, diversifying away from their traditional desktop terminal businesses.

Reuters this week said that more than 225,000 financial professionals in 116 countries have been registered for its new instant messaging service, Reuters Messaging (RM).

Launched last October, Reuters Messaging allows financial professionals to communicate instantly with colleagues and customers.

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