The banking giant Barclays has said it cut around 5,000 jobs in 2023 to “simplify and reshape the business”.

This follows multiple store closures in the UK.

Barclays said the jobs were “removed” as part of its “ongoing efficiency programme” – it is yet unclear how many of the 5,000 were UK-based.

Barclays said the majority of individuals impacted by the job losses worked in the bank’s support and UK chief operating officer functions as “management layers are reduced” and the group “improves its technology and automation capabilities”.

Barclays closed several stores in the North East just last month which drew the anger of nearby residents.

It comes after the trade union Unite said last year that Barclays had cut 900 jobs in its UK business.

In November, Unite said the jobs would go across several back-office divisions and branded the decision to axe staff in the lead-up to Christmas “disgraceful”.

Barclays has cut costs in recent years and has already seen jobs go across its retail and investment banking businesses.

"Management layers are reduced and the group improves its technology and automation capabilities"

A Barclays spokesperson said: “Barclays removed approximately 5,000 headcounts globally through 2023 as part of its ongoing efficiency programme designed to simplify and reshape the business, improve service, and deliver higher returns.

“The group is also creating capacity to selectively hire front office roles in key businesses.

“The majority of the individuals impacted are within Barclays’ support function, Barclays Execution Services ‘BX’, and the Barclays UK Chief Operating Officer function, as management layers are reduced and the group improves its technology and automation capabilities.

“We are supporting impacted colleagues with training, advice and outplacement services, depending on their location.”

Barclays Execution Services division, known inside the bank as BX, was set up in 2017 to bring together support functions for the bank’s main two businesses – UK retail banking and international.