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Barclays to move 4,000 admin jobs to cut costs

Published on Sunday, 30 Jun 2013
Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins

LONDON: Barclays, Britain’s third-largest lender by market value, said it will shift 4,000 more administrative jobs to lower-cost locations to reduce expenses.

The lender plans to save as much as £250 million (HK$2.97 billion) by moving the positions, which are mostly in information technology and operations, Eric Bommensath, co-chief executive officer of corporate and investment banking, said in a presentation to investors on 29 June.

He didn’t give details of which countries the posts will move to, and a spokesman for the London-based lender declined to comment further.

“We will have a greater outsourced and offshore presence,” said Bommensath, who became co-head of the division with Tom King in May after Rich Ricci stepped down. “Fewer people in high-cost locations will also help us to rationalise excess office capacity, bringing further savings.”

Chairman David Walker and CEO Antony Jenkins, who took over after the lender was fined £290 million in June 2012 for rigging the London interbank offered rate, are trying to cut costs by removing layers of management to improve returns.

Barclays booked a £514 million charge under its Transform programme in April after closing branches in Europe and cutting investment banking positions in the region and in Asia.

Barclays joins Deutsche Bank and Bank of America in moving employees to locations at home or overseas where wages and real estate prices are lower as they try to revive profitability.

The investment-banking division will seek a return on equity, a measure of profitability, of 14 per cent by 2015, excluding assets it plans to exit, Bommensath said.

Bank of America is opening a unit in India, while Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender, plans to add 300 jobs to its business in Florida over the next three years.

As of 2012, Barclays employed 139,200 people, 24,000 of whom were employed in the investment bank, according to its annual report. The lender will eliminate 3,700 jobs this year, bringing the number cut since 2008 to almost 21,000.

Jenkins has told investors Barclays may trim its workforce by almost a third over the next decade as automation and online banking develop.


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