- Barclays is preparing to cut hundreds of jobs this week, according to reports Friday from Bloomberg and Reuters.
- The headcount reduction appears to be two-pronged. The bank is cutting roughly 450 employees in its domestic retail business, U.K. labor union Unite told Reuters. Separately, Barclays is planning to dismiss roughly 5% of client-facing staff in its trading division as part of the lender’s annual effort to cull underperformers, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Some cuts could also affect the bank’s global stable of dealmakers, Bloomberg reported.
- "We always continually modulate and modify that workforce,” Barclays CEO C.S. Venkatakrishnan — known casually as Venkat — told CNBC on Monday. “What you see at Barclays is no different than what you see anywhere else.”
Venkat is reportedly reviewing the bank’s strategy amid investor dissatisfaction with the lender’s stock price in relation to its Wall Street peers.
Venkat credited the increase in work transition to a generational shift, adding that the departures of top bankers is natural and that the bank is still hiring.
The bank has hired more than 60 managing directors and directors this year in its markets division — 30 in banking, Bloomberg reported.
Days ahead of Venkat’s comments, Barclays told Bloomberg and Reuters that it “[does] not comment on speculation.”
But when the labor union spoke to the press, a spokesperson for the bank told Reuters that Barclays "continue[s] to review and adapt our operations based on the ways customers are choosing to interact with us.
"We are committed to supporting colleagues through this change," the spokesperson said.
The impending cuts would mark at least the third round of downsizing Barclays has seen within the past year. The bank slashed roughly 200 jobs in November, then another 100 employees in April — specifically in investment banking amid a downturn in deal volume over the first half of 2023.
Barclays would hardly be alone, though, in launching multiple rounds of rightsizing. Goldman Sachs is said to be preparing to cut a raft of bottom performers as early as next month. That number could encompass anywhere from 1% to 5% of staff, people familiar with the matter told the Financial Times last week. That effort would mark Goldman’s fourth headcount trim of the past 12 months.
Citi cut 1,600 jobs in the second quarter, CFO Mark Mason said in June but added the bank has accounted for severance costs that would cover 5,000 employees this year, indicating further cuts would come.
Unite, in a statement, called the Barclays job cuts "unnecessary and unjustified," according to Reuters.
"This isn't an organization struggling to survive. This bank is making billions of pounds of profits," Unite’s national officer, Dominic Hook, told the wire service.