Barclays Considering Further Job Cuts In Asia

Recent reports in Asia have speculated on whether London headquartered Barclays Bank may be about to join the likes of Societe Generale and dispose of the Asian based private wealth business.

Last week news emerged that senior banker Bryan Henning had resigned from Barclays and his position as head of global investments and solutions for Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The bank has been trimming costs across its Asia-Pacific operations, where it generated revenue of £776 million ($1.2 billion) in 2014, about 3 per cent of its total, compared with £12.4 billion in Britain. According to the bank's annual report it employed 18,200 staff in the region at the end of last year.

Earlier this year chairman John McFarlane said that the bank was looking at the contributions of investment-banking operations in Asia and the Middle East, because they don’t have acceptable returns and “we don’t like places that don’t make money.” The lender, that same month, sold its U.S. wealth-management business with about $56 billion in client assets.

Over the weekend news reports suggested that the bank may be looking to cut an additional 20 per cent of investment bank staff, with most of the losses predicted to be in Asia and the global cash equities business, as new chief executive officer Jes Staley seeks to shore up profitability.

The Asia securities division, with operations in markets including Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, isn't considered competitive and profitable enough, news reports said. The cuts, which would come on top of an existing program to axe 7000 jobs at the investment bank during 2016, could be announced early next year.

A Barclays spokeswoman said the bank is "constantly monitoring our opportunities in different geographies and businesses."

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