Barclays Calculates $1.3 Billion Loss and Will Cut 3700 Jobs

4798Barclays announced a major restructuring that will eliminate 3,700 jobs and close several business units, as the bank reported a big loss in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The Barclays headquarters in London. The bank plans to close several business units.
The overhaul of its operations comes after a series of scandals at the bank, including the manipulation of benchmark interest rates, which led to the resignation of the firm's former chief executive, Robert E. Diamond Jr.

In a bid to reduce its exposure to risky trading activity, Barclays plans to close a number of operations in Europe and Asia, including a tax-planning unit that has been criticized for tarnishing the firm's reputation.

"There will be no going back to the old way of doing things," the chief executive, Antony P. Jenkins, told reporters at a news conference in London on Tuesday. "We will never be in a position again of rewarding people for activities inconsistent with our values."

Despite the revamp of its operations and a new emphasis on values, the bank plans to retain the majority of its investment banking unit, particularly its operations in Britain and the United States. The division generated roughly 60 percent of the bank's adjusted pretax profit in 2012.

Barclays will close four business divisions, while another 17 units will either be closed, sold or pared back in response to subdued market activity, Mr. Jenkins said. In total, the expected layoffs across the bank's operations represent around 3 percent of the firm's global work force.

The investment banking division is to be among the hardest hit, where about 1,800 employees are expected to be laid off. The job cuts will primarily fall on the bank's Asian and European equities divisions, as well as its agricultural commodities trading operations. Almost 90 percent of the reductions already have been made, according to Christopher G. Lucas, the bank's departing chief financial officer.

Mr. Jenkins refused to comment specifically on the position of Rich Ricci, the head of Barclays investment banking, whose name has surfaced in the inquiry into the bank's role in the rate-rigging scandal.

"No one can predict the future, but I am confident in the team around me," Mr. Jenkins said. "Who knows what could happen in a year's time."

Source: The New York Times | MARK SCOTT
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