Almost 200 jobs are set to go in the Black Country as part of a shake-up by Barclays of its banking operations.
The banking giant will close three offices in Bexleyheath in Kent, Clacton in Essex and Dudley with the loss of 1,203 call centre and back office staff.
The cutbacks at Dudley will see up to 195 posts affected at the Barclays processing centre at the Waterlinks develop-ment at Brierley Hill.
The job cuts, which are due to be implemented by the end of 2007, are part of a major overhaul of the UK banking arm which will see The Woolwich name disappear from the high street.
Barclays bought the mortgage lender in October 2000 and today unveiled plans to bring all the sites under the Barclays name and merge branches within 300 metres of each other.
Barclays said no further jobs would be lost as a result of the closures, while attempts would be made to find posts at branches for staff affected by the closure of the three offices.
Keith Brookes, national officer of Amicus, said: "Any reduction in staff is disappointing. We have been fully consulted and we are confident that the vast majority of job losses will be dealt with through natural wastage and redeployment."
The Woolwich name will be retained as the brand for mortgages provided by the group and will be available at all Barclays branches.
The shake-up, which will start in February next year, was announced by the division's US boss Deanna O ppenheimer, who was brought in from Washington Mutual in August to turn round the the UK retail banking arm which made profits of £2.45 billion last year.
Ms Oppenheimer said operations would be transferred to existing Barclays call centres in Coventry and Sunderland and to a processing site in Glasgow where work was outsourced to Siemens.
She insisted no jobs would be transferred abroad as a r esult of yesterday's announcement.
Ms Oppenheimer said: "There are 1,203 people currently employed at the three sites which will close in 2007 and 2008.
"The reason why we are announcing this now is so we can manage it through natural wastage so that when it comes to happen there will be far fewer than 1,203 staff losing their jobs."
The Woolwich has had a presence on the high street since it was founded in 1847 and now has 373 branches compared with the 1,656 sites Barclays operates. All the branches will be renamed Barclays and will offer mort-gages under the Woolwich brand.
A quarter of the Woolwich's 3.8 million mortgage holders also have current or savings accounts with the firm, which will be transferred to equivalent Barclays accounts in the upheaval.
Barclays said the moves will give Woolwich customers up to four times as many branches as well as a host of extra services such as travel and motor insurance and local business banking.
Barclays, which has 32,000 staff in its retail arm in the UK, unveiled the shake-up as it looked to accelerate the turnaround of the business.