Under its new chief executive, James E. Staley, Barclays is set to scale back its operations throughout Asia while completely divesting itself of a physical presence in numerous countries in a move that could see 1,200 jobs being cut in its investment banking operations.
Barclays continuing the plans of its former chief executive
Today’s announcement does not come as a total shock by any means as ousted chief executive Antony P. Jenkins announced in 2014 his plan to cut a wide swath through its workforce in the coming years. In May of 2014, he announced that Barclays would cut nearly 20,000 jobs by the end of 2016 including 7,000 in Barclays’ investment banking division.
The London-based Barclays which maintains a massive presence in New York is determined to focus is efforts on those two markets. However, Barclays, in spite of today’s cuts still wants to have a “strong presence” in Asia. Barclays hopes to increase its work in business lines where it a has a competitive advantage while closing other less successful business lines.
“With these actions, we are accelerating the investment bank strategy outlined in 2014, focusing on its core strengths and running the business for returns,” Mr. Staley said on Thursday in a news release.
Mr. Staley only took the bank’s reins in December and has yet to inform its investors about his long-term plans for the bank strategy. He is, however, expected to speak to investors about his plans in March when full-year reporting takes place.
Barclays offices to close, remain open
“We are sharpening our focus on the geographies and products where we have a clear competitive advantage” in Asia, Thomas King, the head of Barclays’ investment banking business, said in an internal memo to affected employees today.
With that said, Barclays informed its clients in Asia today that the lender was shuttering its cash equity sales and trading operations on the continent.
The lender plans to only keep offices in five Asia locations: China, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Singapore.
While those locations will stay active closings in Russia, Taiwan, Brazil and South Korea are imminent.
March will provide a glimpse into the next round of job cuts and closings.