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Barclays boss hints at huge job losses

by Daniel Grote on Mar 08, 2013 at 07:31

Barclays boss hints at huge job losses

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins has outlined his vision for a dramatically streamlined bank at a meeting with shareholders, according to reports.

Jenkins (pictured) said his priority was to find a way for the bank to operate with as few as 100,000 staff, a dramatically lower figure than the 140,000 the bank currently employs.

‘He said the question is: “how can you eventually turn this bank into one that can operate with 100,000 staff instead of 140,000,’ according to one person present at the meeting, quoted in the Financial Times.

The FT cited people close to the situation as claiming the reference to job reductions was not a target but an aspiration for the next 10 years.

A Barclays insider added to Sky News that the comments should be regarded as ‘blue-sky thinking about the long-term future’, with Jenkins anticipating the impact of growing automation within the banking sector.

22 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Mar 08, 2013 at 07:49

Would appear it`s going to be a long day for citywire with articles like this!!

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Mar 08, 2013 at 08:15

Typical banks

"Hint" and rumour first, and thus scare staff so that some will leave in advance for other jobs, thus cutting down on the number of redundancy payments they have to hand out. That will help profits too.

Banks have no morals

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Charles Rickards

Mar 08, 2013 at 08:16

What a shame it can't be some of the 'huge' jobs that are lost, rather than many! If these companies did not pay disproportionate salaries to a small number of individuals, they could afford to employ more customer facing workers and offer improved service levels.

Maybe the government should create an incentive for employers to employ more people, rather than allowing them to cut jobs, become more profitable and then avoid paying a fair share of tax through legitimate tax loop holes.

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Interested Observer

Mar 08, 2013 at 08:50

Nice morale booster for staff.

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Mar 08, 2013 at 09:12

The problem with Banking is so obvious- I should know I have worked in the city for over 15 years in most of these investment banks ! Main problem is they have ridiculous working hours over 50 hours and a lot of people stay at their desk till 7pm even if they finished at 4pm because they need to be seen staying late to get a pay rise / bonus basically playing the ball shit game. So a 35 hour maximum week should be implemented in the city to avoid big job losses . The another big problem is there are vast amounts of overpaid middle management / traders etc.. There needs to a sensible approach to pay. Another big misinterpretation in the city is that the best talent needs to be rewarded well or they leave move country etc.. Let them leave then its not rocket science working in a bank. (They earn much more than a top brain surgeon !) I think I know who should be rewarded higher someone gambling with no risk or a Doctor gambling with a life. There are a number of other work place improvements needed in the city but im sure you get the picture... Its about time people stood up to this broken model

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Pat Riot

Mar 08, 2013 at 09:28

Well said Paul12, Banking flatters itself that only those habituated to its ways from their youth can do the job. IN point of fact they are the ones who make the mistakes. Businss bankers with no business experience have wrecked firms, and by implication the economy. Banks should do much more mid career recruitment.

As for traders, they know no more than anybody else about whether certain stocks will rise or fall in the coming day. overpaid chancers most of them!

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Aunty Tacky

Mar 08, 2013 at 09:29

Anthony Jenkins aka Mr. Motivator. That should protect his bonus.

They will need to reduce staff in line with the number of customers (or victims) they are currently losing. Maybe that's what the new Chief didn't have the gonads to say. Customer numbers expected to fall by 30% - doesn't have the same appeal to shareholders.

Great picture though - that smarmy car salesman smile just draws you to the man. The smiling assassin - coming to a screen (or Barclays branch) near you. Good luck to the normal staff!

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Cynical Sam

Mar 08, 2013 at 09:30

Paul12, I think you have misunderstood the situation, you are speaking about a select 'few' in the City, this is aimed at the thousands of poorly paid customer facing counter staff in retail branches up down the country.

For years the Banks have been pushing online banking and services, now they are finding that a lot of customers never actually come into the bank branch, therefore reducing the need for customer facing staff, I also am ex-bank btw.

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Graeme Urwin via mobile

Mar 08, 2013 at 09:32

It has come to a point where we are more surprised seeing morals & honesty than corruption & deceit!

Banks or bankers or politicians or fund managers..........

The list is endless

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James Clancy

Mar 08, 2013 at 10:10

" Barclays becoming a self service-oriented company which allows its remaining staff to focus on delivering “added value” to customers and clients across its retail, investment and wealth management operations."

I read this comment yesterday. Forgive me if I'm wrong but I thought that Barclays had all but withdrawn from the advisory market. It appears that the new chief executive has a change of heart and is stating that the branchs will become nothing more cashpoints and wealth management advisers

What a dangerous cocktail to have!

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Mar 08, 2013 at 10:32

No not misunderstood this situation this applies to hundred thousand and millions of workers nationwide . Big companies need to change track or it will be the doing of them in the end. For example bar cap pay some traders over 20m a year that would cover many jobs in the bank they could keep. If big companies carry on making huge profits but reducing head count , paying little tax and hoarding cash it can only mean one thing . Remember the day's when you had a lady come round with teas , a lift attendant or sports facility manager . These jobs have long gone along with 1000s more . Workplace doesn't have to be like a robotic environment with no social time. So the choice is simple change work culture or face massive unemployment and extremes of wealth .

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Mar 08, 2013 at 10:45

@Paul 12

There was once a company called Phonotas, who came round and "cleaned your phone" with a dirty cloth smelling of meths

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Philip Stevenson

Mar 08, 2013 at 13:27

Invariably there is nothing good about people losing their jobs but this is not a new phenomenon and has been going on for decades as the banks, insurance companies and the like interact with their customers. Remember the Man from the Pru, Swinton insurance brokers, Cooperative finance. Life goes on, markets change, business adapt and so do workforces.

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Compliance Officer

Mar 08, 2013 at 14:50

I remember Phonotas - from the time that I worked in a bank...

Every morning I wake to a strange rumbling sound - I suspect it is the sound of my father, a village bank manager who retiredjust as the seeds of what banking has become were being planted in the early/mid 80s

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Usually found sitting on the fence

Mar 08, 2013 at 15:42

Just seen on the BBC that 428 Barclays staff were paid over £1million last year, how much is expected to be saved by the 40,000 reduction in staffing levels? Will that saving be used to justify the same 428 people earning £2million+ or bring another 428 from the old pals network up over the £1million+ a year mark?

Let us not forget that next year there will at least be another 1, arise Sir...

OK, so this news did actually turn my stomach. Please don't get me wrong, I have no problem with these people and am sure that 99% of us would all happily take that kind of pay. After all, they are only paid what they have convinced someone or a panel of someones, what they are worth!! My dislike of this is the threat of job losses, the huge disparity between their lower paid staff and their higher paid staff. A £25k employee earns 40 times less than a £1m employee, put that into property terms, if the average property price was £180,000, then the million pound earner would be buying a £7.2million property... If the average car costs £15,000, then they'd be buying a £600,000 car. And how is the value of these individuals actually measured on an individual basis? (please don't just say it is market value, they between themselves create and set the market)

You could say, so what? In my opinion, this is just not right.

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Mar 09, 2013 at 08:29

I suspect the million pound plus earners are responsible for generating multi billion pound revenues for the bank and that's the reason the banks don't want them to leave. The vast maroity of the income is performance related, so remove the incentive and you probably remove the performance.

Most businesses reward employees for good or exceptional performance. Very, very few businesses generate billions of revenues and fewer still is the number of individuals who can do this. Most of these people have exceptional talents, which is why they have the jobs in the first place.

No institution will pay an individual millions if he or she isn't worthy of that pay grade. Legislating to prevent privately held companies determining the pay scale for its employees is nuts.

I have every sympathy for those on much lower incomes working for the same banking group. They do a completely different type of work, largely customer facing and generally being the face of the poor back office administration, which is seen as a massive overhead and is usually lacking in sufficient investment.

Nobody said that life is fair.

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Mar 09, 2013 at 10:01

Its as simply as this. The guy getting paid 20m at Barclays is a very clever chap and should get paid well but he has not taken any risk to achieve lets say 1 billion pounds profit. A guy sitting at home with $500 playing the FTSE is taking 100% more risk or a person setting up a window cleaning company. These individuals can work as hard as they like and earn what they choose. Where as the Barclays Trader has clients with billions of pounds that they are throwing at him daily so really he can't fail to make money. There will always be a few special individuals in corporations that change the game but the vast majority that get paid highly are just your average joe. Bit like some footballers is their pay not nuts !. You have to ask is this acceptable in this climate as population is growing and jobs are disappearing. There will never be full employment in the Uk and its likely to be over 5m unemployed min. But there must be better ways that big companies can help fuel the economy such as a 35hr week . Otherwise its all about the bottom line and if anything like Apple/Facebook is to go by there will be companies sitting on vast cash piles with only a handful of employees. Maybe that is the future long gone have the days of working for big companies , the UK lost its manufacturing base in the 80s now its the Service sector.

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Mar 09, 2013 at 10:42

@ Paul 12

The guys at the big banks get paid the big bucks to make money for the company and its shareholders. The amount of the company's capital they put at risk is enormous and the job of the risk managers is to balance the risk of the company's balance sheet. The winners get paid huge sums and the losers get fired. To get this right you need to be pretty bright and my experience of these people is they are a very long way from being the average joe. Most of them are very strange people indeed.

If people want to work 35 hours a week that's up to them. Most jobs that pay over the average need more than 35 hours of commitment. You have a choice.

I repeat I have every sympathy for those who's jobs are at risk. Sadly, Barclays is not a charity and shareholders expect a return on investment for putting their capital at risk. Shareholders will be a tad miffed if the people who generate huge profits for the company start to leave because they are not adequately compensated.

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Mar 09, 2013 at 14:40

I wasnt referring to banks balance sheet and risk but most traders are not trading using the banks capital . As an individual its no risk because they are not putting up any capital. Hence the only risk is losing job. The guy trading for himself is taking 100% more risk it's his capital. Let's getanother thing straight if they were super clever surely they would do something useful with their lifes than gamble on the markets . thh

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Mar 09, 2013 at 14:40

I wasnt referring to banks balance sheet and risk but most traders are not trading using the banks capital . As an individual its no risk because they are not putting up any capital. Hence the only risk is losing job. The guy trading for himself is taking 100% more risk it's his capital. Let's getanother thing straight if they were super clever surely they would do something useful with their lifes than gamble on the markets . thh

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Mar 09, 2013 at 15:56

Most traders employed by an investment bank are using the bank's capital, which is why the balance sheets got wiped out during the banking crisis.

The super clever ones don't do anything useful with their lives because it doesn't pay very well. Once they've made their money they often turn to philanthropy.

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Usually found sitting on the fence

Mar 11, 2013 at 09:54

@ Luxemburg3r - I do agree with you to a point, there needs to be an incentive for these clever people to take on the stress of delivering returns on the banks cash deposits, because they can't pay the interest without their being cash. However, I do believe that the incentives have gotten out of hand, which is one of the reasons that these people take excessive risks. But rewind a little and consider where this money they have comes from. Initially the banks took customers money and held this on deposit or in savings. They loaned this money out and made a profit from the loans to cover interest on cash held. From the profit the bank paid their staff and used monies left over to expand into new towns, counties and eventually across countries. In order to grow faster they floated, taking in money for investing in growth. At this point there are now 3 interested parties in the profit - the saver, the bank and the investor. Fast forward to now and you have a situation where the sums are so vast that the bank and the banker believe as they generate the wealth, they are entitled. It's not their money, they take no financial risk, they have sufficient funds to ensure that they make fewer investing errors and yet they take huge sums of money out of the bank, which should be returned to the individuals that are actually taking the risk - The Saver, the bank's profit (future lending supplies) and the shareholder. But one has to fear that things have gone too far to be brought back under some form of control. Sadly, with the ever widening gap between the haves and the have nots, with an ever increasing feeling of dissatisfaction among the young at the lack of opportunity, there may be more occasions of violence in the name of liberating the rich and distributing to the poor!!

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