The new Barclays boss, Jes Staley, has kicked off a fresh wave of cuts at the group’s investment banking arm, with plans to axe 1,200 jobs and pull out of several Asian countries.
Barclays said it would close offices in nine countries around the world, with the Asia Pacific region bearing the brunt of the cuts.
The bank will pull out of Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, but will offer banking coverage for those countries from other locations. It will keep offices in Hong Kong, China, Japan, Singapore and India, and hold on to its prime brokerage and derivatives business in Asia.
Barclays’ investment bank is also exiting Russia and will cover the country from London instead. It is scaling back cash equity sales around the globe, with the planned withdrawal from some central European and Middle Eastern countries as well as in the Asia Pacific zone. The bank’s China business is not affected by the cutbacks.
Staley, a former JPMorgan Chase banker who took the reins at the end of last year, and Barclays chairman John McFarlane will update the City on strategy at the bank’s annual results on 1 March. Barclays said it expects to report investment bank income broadly flat on 2014.
The bank said the cutbacks form part of the strategy announced in May 2014 to focus on the UK, the US and serving clients globally, while exiting certain product lines. The bank stressed that it would still have a strong presence in Asia. The bank’s then-boss Antony Jenkins unveiled 19,000 job cuts as it dramatically scaled back its investment bank.
Staley said: “With these actions, we are accelerating the investment bank strategy outlined in 2014, focusing on its core strengths and running the business for returns. We continue to build on the business’s dual home markets in the UK and US and remain committed to a strong presence in Asia and EMEA, consistent with operating a leading global investment bank within the Barclays group.”
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