Barclays PLC is set to exit some of its trading and sales operations across Asia, and cut about a 1,000 jobs worldwide — the bank’s most brutal cuts yet — according to media reports.
The British bank reportedly informed clients in a memo Thursday morning that it was shutting some divisions, including cash equity research, sales and trading, as well as convertible bond trading across Asia. Barclays plans to reduce about 230 positions in the Asia-Pacific region alone, reports said, citing sources at the company.
The company will exit operations in countries including Australia, Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia, but plans to maintain offices in Hong Kong, China, Japan, Singapore and India, and keep its prime brokerage and derivatives business in Asia, a source told Bloomberg.
“This suggests that they are having to be very aggressive to have any chance of boosting returns in the investment bank as a whole and it may imply a lack of patience by the chairman in terms of how long this process will take,” Christopher Wheeler, an analyst in London with Atlantic Equities LLP, told Bloomberg.
CEO Jes Staley, who took over the financial firm last month has indicated that he would continue former CEO Antony Jenkins ’ plan to shed about 7,000 jobs over a period of three years.
Barclays could also exit its investment banking operations across much of Asia, and in parts of Europe and Latin America, to focus on its core U.S. and U.K. markets, people familiar with the matter told the Financial Times.
Barclays' move to downsize resembles the general trend at major U.S. and European banks, which are looking at continued cost cuts to improve margins amid falling revenues and tough market conditions. Barclays’ European peers Deutsche Bank AG and Standard Chartered have already announced plans to cut 9,000 jobs and 15,000 jobs respectively last year.