Barclays will reduce its Wilmington workforce by about 25 percent after it moves 500 operations and technology jobs to its new campus in Whippany, New Jersey, by the end of 2019.
Employees were told about the decision on Wednesday morning, but many contacted said the announcement has been expected for a few weeks. The company moved 100 global technology jobs to the state-of-the-art facility in New Jersey in March 2018. In addition, the company confirmed Wednesday that a "relatively small number of roles" will be relocated to its Nevada office.
Company officials reiterated Wednesday that Wilmington will continue to be the strategic headquarters for Barclays' U.S. consumer banking division, part of its ongoing "regional hub" strategy.
"We continue to invest in our Wilmington headquarters and Whippany campus to support our fast-growing consumer business," Barclays Cards and Payment CEO Barry Rodrigues said in a press release announcing the decision. "In addition, we remain steadfast in our commitment to support the community through our philanthropic efforts, partnering with non-profit organizations to help make a positive impact in the lives of Delawareans and New Jerseyans every day."
When asked whether the decrease in jobs will lead the company to consolidate its real-estate space in Delaware, spokesman Matt Fields said, "We continue to grow and invest in our U.S. consumer business, which is headquartered in Wilmington. Like any large company, we regularly review our geographical footprint; however, there are no plans at this time to alter our real estate footprint on the Riverfront."
Relocation assistance will be provided to those who decide to move, and a full range of transition services including severance and outplacement support will be offered to those who choose to stay. Fields said those who choose not to relocate will be able to apply for other open positions in Wilmington.
Fields would not predict how many people will decline the offer to move but did say that Barclays would not select additional people to move based on the response to the offer.
Delaware's U.S. congressional delegation was quick to offer its support in a joint statement, as was Governor John Carney: "Today's news is deeply disappointing, especially for the workers affected through no fault of their own. Our hearts go out to the families affected who are now having to make tough decisions. But it's times like that Delawareans roll up our sleeves and pull together to help our neighbors, and that's exactly what is needed now."
The three legislators went on to say "while it is encouraging to hear that the Barclays consumer banking division will remain on the Riverfront, our focus is on those impacted by this announcement. Our delegation is committed to working with Governor Carney to do all we can to assist these employees and to ensure that Delaware remains a great place to live and work for everyone."
Barclays' U.S. Consumer Bank is the nation's ninth largest issuer with 13 million customers, $26 billion in card loans, and $15 billion in retail deposits and says it is pursuing an "ambitious growth strategy in the U.S. consumer banking and payments market.
We will continue to update this story as it develops.