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A Changed Barclays No Longer Cares About Financial Returns

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Barclays will take the axe to its controversial tax structuring unit, as the UK lender seeks to clean up its image in the wake of a succession of scandals. The business, which at its peak may have generated as much as three-quarters of profits at Barclays’ investment banking operation, will be shrunk dramatically as part of the bank’s Project Transform under new chief executive, Antony Jenkins. Barclays’ actions comes as global banks from Goldman Sachs to Deutsche Bank are reviewing their business models in response to new regulations and government enforcement efforts. “We have to take a fresh look to see if there are products and services in which...we no longer deem it appropriate to do business, regardless of financial return,” Rich Ricci, Barclays investment banking chief, said in an address to investors on Monday night... All activities would in future be “screened for reputational impact” as well as profitability, Mr Jenkins said. “Our ability to build a franchise over time depends on our reputation,” he added, admitting the bank had made some “serious mistakes” in recent years. [FT via HeidiMoore]


Layoffs Watch '12: Barclays

Remember when Bank of America said it was working on a little something called "Project New BAC," and it involved firing a whole bunch of employees? Barclays is apparently working on a coupla "projects" of its own.

Layoffs Watch '12: Barclays

Cuts are said to have gone down with more a-comin'. Barclays PLC is cutting about 50 employees from its equities business, the latest effort by the British bank to reduce costs at its investment-banking arm. A week ago, the U.K. lender announced internally that about 10% of the jobs at its equities business across Europe, Africa and the Middle East would be lost, a person familiar with the matter said Friday. During the first half of the year, Barclays's equities and prime services business, which employs about 500 people, saw revenue fall 12% on the year to £973 million ($1.57 billion). The business has suffered as market volumes have dried up in recent quarters...The work-force reduction could be a taste of things to come for Barclays's investment bank. At the beginning of 2009, former Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond hired more than 400 bankers, mainly in equities and research, as part of a drive to turn the predominately debt-focused bank into a multi-asset powerhouse. Following Mr. Diamond's departure in the wake of a rate-fixing probe, new CEO Antony Jenkins has started a review of the bank's businesses to assess their profitability and whether and how they affect the lender's reputation. This, combined with tougher regulatory requirements, is expected to result in Barclays shrinking its investment bank, analysts say. Barclays To Cut 50 Equities Jobs [WSJ]