Barclays has embarked on a fresh round of job cuts to its investment banking business worldwide, with a complete exit from cash equities in Asia. As Hayley Platt reports, the cuts are among the most sweeping ever implemented by an investment bank.
Big cuts at Barclays were expected. But the reported 1,000 job losses globally are among the most sweeping world-wide culls by an investment bank in recent years. Barclays wants to exit much of its investment banking operation in Asia, according to an internal memo. A move which would see it exit all its cash equities business there. It's all part of a cost cutting programme by new boss Jes Staley to help ride the current global market turmoil and boost returns. Michael Hewson is from CMC Markets. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "I think Jes Staley wants to streamline the operation, basically try and maximize profit margins as much as possible and he is focussing on the least performing parts of the business." Barclays isn't the only big bank to wield the axe in recent years. Since June, 130,000 job losses have been announced by 10 of Europe's major lenders. But is Barclay's Asia strategy wise when the region is likely to remain one of the key drivers of economic growth over the next decade? (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "Maybe not, but we've certainly seen HSBC and Standard Chartered start to streamline an awful lot of its Asia operations. I think what Barclays is focussing on is what they can do now and then revisiting the process over the next 6-9 months to 1 year." Deutsche Bank is also looking to downsize. New Chief John Cryan has already announced plans to cut 15,000 jobs. And close businesses employing a further 20,000. Now the bank's warning of record losses of 6.7 billion euros for 2015 - up by half a billion Its shares plunged 10 percent as a result.