London-headquartered global news and financial information giant Reuters – recently back in the black after a red patch [WAMN: 23-Jul-03] – intends to move much of its core IT operations to India.

The plan, which focuses on new products to be developed either in Bangalore or Hyderabad, was presented to 1,100 content division staff worldwide last week, although no mention was made to the outside world of US and UK job losses.

But these are very much on the cards, according to documents seen by BBC News Online. The documentation distributed to the content division – the unit that generates Reuters’ core financial data – suggests that job losses are inevitable.

Specific mention is made of 350 staff at Tiverton in south-west England plus a further 65 in Edinburgh; while around 600 are at risk in New York City and White Plains. Several other offices worldwide, including Singapore, are also said to be in line for decimation.

Reuters is already in the throes of Fast Forward, a previously announced 3,000-staff redundancy and cost-reduction programme and a spokeswoman insisted no decision has been made on which (if any), functions might transfer to India alongside the planned new products. An announcement would be made by mid-September.

But Reuters insiders told the BBC that the Indian scenario has hit staff morale prompting some employees to circulate their resumés ahead of any action by the company.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff