BearingPoint Inc., the IT services company formerly known as KPMG Consulting Inc., is significantly paring down its staff in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to balance its workforce with market demand, the company said Tuesday.

About 700 jobs are getting lopped off from BearingPoint GmbH, the unit that groups its operations in those three European countries, leaving it with 2,100 employees. That unit was previously known as KPMG Consulting AG.

The move will reduce BearingPoint Inc.’s global workforce by around 4 per cent, from around 17,000 to around 16,300, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

BearingPoint Inc., based in McLean, Virginia, does not expect to take a charge to earnings related to these actions, nor do the staff cuts affect the company’s previous guidance for the current quarter, which ends Dec. 31, nor for fiscal 2003, which ends in June 2003.

BearingPoint GmbH is also being reorganized into four divisions and its sales force is being strengthened.