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Barclays vows to cut very highly paid staff

Published on Saturday, 08 Nov 2014
Antony Jenkins

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins says the British bank will have fewer "very highly paid" workers after revamping its investment banking function.

"As we make our investment bank more focused, that means we will ultimately have less very highly paid people within the organisation," Jenkins says. "That is in line with the strategy."

Barclays is "largely through" cutting an initial 14,000 jobs that will let the bank invest more in businesses including wealth management in Asia, global payment services, and corporate and personal banking in Britain, Jenkins adds.

While investment banking will remain a key business, the operation will be smaller and less risky. "Investment banking is part of the core, but it has to be done in a different way," Jenkins says.

Last year, 481 Barclays employees earned more than £1 million (HK$12.4million) in salary, bonus and incentive payments, according to the company's annual report. Of those, eight earned more than £5 million.

The company was ranked 13th for investment-banking pay in the City of London in a survey released last month by salary-ranking website Emolument.

Senior managers, ranking below executive directors, got an average total compensation of £280,000 at Barclays, compared with £461,000 at JPMorgan Chase, which has the highest pay, the website says.

While Barclays has been cutting jobs globally, its investment-banking business is hiring in Asia, says Andrew Jones, the lender's Asia-Pacific co-chief executive. Indonesia is a "particular focus" and the bank is also expanding in capital markets in China and continues to invest in India, Jones says.

"We are hiring to basically fill out the business and we have adopted a new model which is more country-centric," Jones says.

However, "ultimately, Asia will take its share" of headcount reductions, he adds.

Jenkins took over as chief executive of Britain's second-biggest lender by assets from Robert "Bob" Diamond in 2012, and has since set up a bad bank and started a planned 19,000 job cuts across the firm by 2016.

His efforts to overhaul the bank's culture have been overshadowed by probes into its dark pool - a private forum for trading securities that is not openly available to the public - and currency market manipulation.


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