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Asia targeted in Barclays staff cuts

Added 22nd January 2016

British bank Barclays has announced its investment banking arm is to close offices in nine countries across Asia, the Americas and EMEA.

Asia targeted in Barclays staff cuts

The retrenchment could mean job losses of up to up to 1,200 staff, according to the Financial Times, with the biggest share of the cuts to fall across Asia-Pacific.

The FT said the bank would close its operations in South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and Russia.

However, Barclays said in a statement it would continue to provide services to clients who have cross-border requirements from offices in China, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, Japan and India.

Barclays said its investment bank would now focus on its two home markets in the UK and US and to develop its global franchise.

"With these actions, we are accelerating the investment bank strategy outlined in 2014, focusing on its core strengths and running the business for returns, said Jes Staley who took over as Barclays chief executive at the start of December.

“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," he said.

The Asia restructuring suggests there is a stronger possibility that Barclays will sell its Asian private wealth business. Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings and Julius Baer viewed as potential bidders.

Banks struggle

European investment banks all been struggling in face of a slump in trading activity, tougher financial regulations and rising costs tied to compliance.

Deutsche Bank warned on Wednesday that it was facing big losses in the fourth quarter due to “challenging market conditions”.

Barclays will report its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2015 on 1 March 2016, and said it expects to report investment bank income broadly flat on the prior year.

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