Hundreds of IT jobs at risk as Abbey wields the axe

Hundreds of IT jobs could go at high street bank Abbey, which last week unveiled plans to cut up to 2,000 back-office jobs this year.

Hundreds of IT jobs could go at high street bank Abbey, which last week unveiled plans to cut up to 2,000 back-office jobs this year.

The job losses are in addition to the 4,000 positions that have gone since the bank's takeover by Spanish banking group Santander 15 months ago.

The bank has not yet said how many IT jobs will go in the shake-up. Last year's cuts saw 335 IT posts cut as part of restructuring, as well as dozens of staff being redeployed to Santander's dedicated IT operation, Isban.

The Isban unit is currently making preparations to roll out Santander's core global banking system, Partenon, across Abbey during 2007.

The Partenon system is a front-to-back banking platform that Santander has deployed globally over the past four years. Santander's ability to provide a single banking platform for Abbey was central to its takeover of the UK bank, which said it did not have the resources to develop its own platform to give a single view of the customer.

Linda Rolph, general secretary of Abbey National Group Union, said, "We are extremely disappointed at the planned job losses. It means another year of uncertainty for the staff.

"The bank has said it is reviewing all jobs in every business area, so at this stage we cannot tell where the axe will fall."

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