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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

Barclays to axe 19,000 jobs under revival plan

Reuters  London, May 08, 2014
First Published: 11:58 IST(8/5/2014) | Last Updated: 15:00 IST(8/5/2014)

Britain's Barclays will axe 19,000 jobs in the next three years and set up a "bad bank" to house much of its investment banking business and European retail operations as it strives to turn itself around in the face of a trading slump.

Chief Executive Antony Jenkins has taken a knife to Barclays' investment bank, once the group's profit engine, after a slide in revenues, a string of senior departures and a row with shareholders over bonuses.

Under the latest strategic review, Barclays will cut 7,000 jobs from the investment bank and park some 90 billion euros worth of risk-weighted assets from the division in a bad bank.

The carve-up means that the investment bank will account for no more than 30% of Barclays' risk-weighted assets, down from 50% now. It will give much greater prominence to Barclays' retail operations in Britain, its Barclaycard credit card arm and its African business.

Jenkins is also parking all of Barclays' European retail banking operations in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, and some corporate and Barclaycard assets in the bad bank which will house 115 billion pounds of risk-weighted assets.

Jenkins, who took over as CEO in August 2012 after investment banker Bob Diamond was ousted following a scandal over the rigging of benchmark interest rates, laid out a turnaround plan for the bank last year. But the slide in investment bank trading has forced him to accelerate the changes.

As a result of the latest strategic review, Barclays will incur a further 800 million pounds of costs. But by 2016 the bank is hoping it will be able to raise its dividend pay-out ratio to up to 50% of adjusted earnings, compared to current guidance of 40%, and will have stronger defences against potential loan losses.


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