March 8, 2017 / 12:39 PM / in 5 months

Exclusive: Barclays to close mortgage centre in Wales, cutting jobs

FILE PHOTO: A Barclays logo is pictured outside the Barclays towers in Johannesburg, South Africa, December 16, 2015.Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays Plc (BARC.L) is to close a mortgage centre in Cardiff, Wales, with the loss of more than 180 jobs, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday, as the bank continues a major restructuring to cut costs.

The employees at the centre were told about the job losses on Wednesday, sources familiar with the cuts told Reuters.

A spokesman for Barclays confirmed the closure, but said only 60 jobs would be cut, while 144 people would be offered the chance to relocate to Liverpool and Leeds.

"We appreciate that for some staff they may wish to take a redundancy option and this will be available," the spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Workers' union Unite condemned the closure.

"This highly skilled and dedicated workforce will be made redundant and we call on Barclays to think again and reverse this decision," Unite regional officer Steve Pantak said in an emailed statement.

The announcement comes as a further blow to the financial services industry in Wales, which has been disproportionately hit by branch closures in Britain according to a Reuters analysis last June.

Barclays in common with other British banks has been closing branches, cutting jobs and selling unwanted assets in its retail and investment bank as it seeks to become more profitable.

Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley on Feb. 23 said the bank would close its 'non-core' division of unwanted assets in June, 6 months ahead of schedule.

The lender is also overhauling its back office operations by creating a new standalone unit to provide support services, Reuters reported last month, as it seeks to cut costs and make the group more efficient.

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill and Lawrence White; Editing by Jane Merriman and Mark Potter

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