Barclays reportedly working on cost-cutting, layoff plans


Barclays has had a tough few months with tumbling share prices and weak third-quarter results. Now, the British lender is reportedly planning to carry out a round of sweeping layoffs as part of a cost-cutting program worth a billion dollars.

The London-headquartered Barclays is working on plans to slash costs by as much as £1 billion ($1.25 billion) which could including cutting 2,000 jobs, Reuters reported Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The cuts would focus on back office roles at Barclays Execution Services, the outlet reported. The proposal, aimed at boosting the bank’s profitability and curb expenses, is still being reviewed by top management including CEO C.S. Venkatakrishnan or “Venkat.”

It’s unclear which other departments might be impacted or what the overall time frame for the possible layoffs is.

A representative at Barclays declined Fortune‘s request for comment.

Barclays has been trying to put a lid on costs including by cutting bonuses earlier this year. In its third-quarter earnings report, the bank hinted at restructuring plans, saying it was “evaluating actions to reduce structural costs to help drive future returns,” which may reflect material additional charges in the fourth quarter.

The company reported pre-tax profit for the third quarter slightly below the same period a year earlier, with a 6% drop in its core investment banking segment amid lower deal volumes. Revenue at the company’s fixed income, currency and commodities trading division declined 13% due to market volatility.

Barclays is expected to discuss its strategy for the following year when it announces its full-year results in February, according to Reuters.

A rocky 2022 for Barclays

The lender has had other challenges to navigate—including the fallout of a trading error that resulted in several billion dollars being accidentally issued in structured financial products without authorization. Barclays had to settle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for $361 million, while setting aside about $565 million to compensate investors, according to the Financial Times.

Separately, the bank faced $200 million is costs for a U.S. regulatory probe involving employee use of personal messaging apps such as Whatsapp to discuss potentially market-sensitive matters.

Since Venkat took over in November 2021, the company’s shares have fallen 26%, while those of its competitors like HSBC have shot up by 37%.

Barclays began a strategy review earlier this year to save its sliding share price. Pressure on the bank continues to mount as it tackles various cost- and economy-related challenges.

“Reports Barclays is targeting £1 billion in cost cuts reflect the challenges facing the banking sector, despite higher interest rates, as inflationary pressures continue to weigh,” AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said in a note Friday.

“It also suggests CS Venkatakrishnan is starting to feel some pressure with the shares appreciably lower since his appointment in November 2021.”

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