Barclays is actively working on cost-saving plans totalling 1 billion pounds ($1.25 billion), potentially involving approximately 2,000 job cuts, primarily in the bank’s back office, according to a Reuters report.
Managers at Barclays are currently reviewing proposals to enhance profitability, and if fully implemented, these plans could lead to the reduction of 1,500 to 2,000 jobs, as shared by an anonymous source.
The managerial team, led by Chief Executive CS Venkatakrishnan, known as Venkat, stated that the potential cuts would primarily affect Barclays Execution Services (BX), forming part of an overall expense reduction target of up to 1 billion pounds across the group over several years.
Barclays effectively cut costs by reducing bonuses and jobs in its retail and investment banking divisions. However, the potential savings from downsizing BX had not been disclosed earlier.
Established in 2017 to consolidate support functions for the bank’s two main business divisions, UK retail banking and international, BX aimed to eliminate duplication and implement post-crisis risk management rules.
Ongoing discussions about BX’s headcount are taking place, and Barclays may opt to prioritize layoffs in other areas. The headcount at BX grew from 20,000 at the end of 2017 to about 22,300 at the end of 2022, representing over a quarter of Barclays staff.
Under pressure, Venkat must devise ways to enhance Barclays’ diminishing book value before unveiling a new strategy during an investor presentation scheduled for February. Since becoming CEO, he has dealt with the aftermath of a trading blunder and a talent exodus hindering competition with European rivals.
On October 23, Venkat indicated that Barclays would undergo further restructuring in preparation for the February 20 presentation, seen as a crucial opportunity to convince shareholders of a plan to lift the bank’s valuation. The company is working with Boston Consulting Group on a strategy review, focusing on which parts of the business to invest in and which to reduce or sell.