Barclays Tells Hedge Funds It Can't Be Seen With Them

Barclays' PR-driven makeover continues, even at the expense of being a full-service investment bank.
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Barclays' PR-driven makeover continues, even at the expense of being a full-service investment bank.

First, the ever-popular tax-avoidancetax-structuring business gets the chop. Now, the bank is telling hedge funds—easy targets in Europe, it must be said—to get lost, in the name of helping poor people eat. Hey, look, a bit of candor:

Chief Executive Antony Jenkins told a news conference on Tuesday the bank was exiting speculative trading in softs and agriculture due to "reputational reasons", but was sticking with the overall commodities sector.

Barclays halts agriculture trading with hedge funds [Reuters]

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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]

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New CEO Antony Jenkins has apparently been reading the Tarot cards on Barclays and what they're telling him is the bank is about to have 40,000 fewer employees.

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.