Barclays PLC is expected to drastically reduce its workforce in the coming years as it plans to shed a portion of its employee base after firing CEO Antony Jenkins later this month, media reports said Sunday.
The British bank, which employed about 132,000 people at the end of December, is reportedly slashing over 30,000 jobs and automating some of its operations. The efforts are part of a large-scale reorganization headed by Chairman John McFarlane, who has pledged to tackle the "cumbersome and bureaucratic" company, Bloomberg reported, citing an unnamed source.
The sweeping redundancy program, which would reduce the bank's workforce below 100,000 by 2017, is seen as a way to address the chronically underperforming bank, which has suffered major losses and credit downgrades, the London Times reported.
The cuts will reportedly target mid-level and back-end staff to achieve maximum savings.
McFarlane has indicated that he will focus on boosting the ailing firm's revenue. "Cost is important," he told Bloomberg in early July. "But it's actually about revenue and increasing revenue growth way over the cost of capital growth."
The company already saw deep cuts under Jenkins, having slashed 3,700 jobs in 2013, 12,000 in 2014 and 7,000 so far this year. However, the London Times reported that a new chief would be brought in to replace Jenkins, who would be expected to cut staff much faster.
Barclays was ranked the world's eighth-largest investment firm last year, two spots below its 2012 ranking. The company told the U.S. Federal Reserve last week that assets at its broker-dealer in the U.S. had halved since 2010. Also, the company's U.S. division remains significantly more profitable than its Asia or Europe investment banking branches. Moreover, the bank must separate its retail banking business from its investment arm within the next three years under new regulations aimed at providing more protection to customers and taxpayers, Reuters reported.
The news comes at a time when investment banks across the world are facing losses and cutbacks. Germany's Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland PLC were downgraded by S&P in June alongside Barclays, and major banks like HSBC and Citigroup have also slashed thousands of jobs in recent years.