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Barclays cuts at least 70 jobs in Asia
Publication Date : 25-01-2013
Some bankers at the Barclays office in Singapore were retrenched yesterday as the bank axed at least 70 jobs across the region.
The British bank, which is trying to recover from the financial crisis and an interest rate-rigging scandal, could end up laying off as many as 90 people, sources told Reuters.
"We've reviewed the size of the business and are trying to meet the opportunities that are here in the market," a spokesman told The Straits Times yesterday.
"We are not pulling out of any markets or business lines, and we remain committed to Asia and to being a full-service corporate and investment bank."
A Barclays employee in Singapore, where the bank has 3,500 staff, said the mood in his office was downcast yesterday.
"Everyone is worried about his or her job. It feels like nobody's job is secure - one of my better-performing colleagues in another country just got sacked this morning," he said.
Barclays said on Tuesday that it had "begun a process of consultation" with its Britain-based staff ahead of the results of a business review to be published next month.
The review was launched by new chief executive Antony Jenkins. He took over the reins in August last year following former CEO Bob Diamond's departure after Barclays was found to have helped rig a key market interest rate.
The review is expected to result in hundreds, if not thousands, of job cuts across the bank's global operations.
Goldman Sachs said in a recent research note that Barclays might cut 15 per cent of its investment banking staff globally, affecting about 3,500 out of 23,300 employees.
Barclays is the latest in a series of European and American banks to slash jobs as they strive to cut costs and streamline operations.
Two weeks ago, it was reported that Morgan Stanley was retrenching 1,600 of its securities unit employees worldwide, with half of the cuts occurring in the United States.
Goldman Sachs cut 700 jobs last year as part of a plan to reduce annual expenses by US$1.9 billion, while Citigroup announced plans last month to cut 11,000 jobs to save US$1.1 billion in annual expenses.
Swiss bank UBS said in October that it would exit bond trading and eliminate 10,000 jobs, while Credit Suisse is also cutting securities jobs to reach an annual cost-savings target of one billion Swiss francs (US$1.01 billion).