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Barclays eyes up to 900 job cuts in Britain -union

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Barclays Bank logo

LONDON (Reuters) -Barclays is putting 900 jobs in its British business at risk of redundancy, employee union Unite said on Tuesday, as it pursues major cost cutting in a bid to improve its returns.

A Unite spokesperson said that Barclays staff were informed of the potential cuts at 1300 GMT.

A Barclays spokesperson declined to comment on the number of job cuts, but referred to the bank's announcement alongside its third quarter results last month that it would look to reduce costs.

"We are taking a number of actions to simplify and reshape the business, improve service, and deliver higher returns. This includes changes to our headcount as management layers are reduced and the Group improves its technology and automation capabilities," the spokesperson said.

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The British bank is working on plans to save up to 1 billion pounds ($1.25 billion), which could involve cutting as many as 2,000 jobs, Reuters reported last week.

Barclays CEO C.S. Venkatakrishnan is racing to boost Barclays' returns ahead of an investor update in February, when he will unveil more details of the cost-cutting plan and how the bank plans to grow income.

(Reporting by Iain Withers and Lawrence White, editing by Sinead Cruise, Kirsten Donovan)