Barclays to axe at least 3,700 jobs

Romsey Advertiser: Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins has announced plans to close the bank's Structured Capital Markets division Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins has announced plans to close the bank's Structured Capital Markets division

Scandal-hit banking giant Barclays said it is axing at least 3,700 jobs under a strategic overhaul, but revealed it is paying £1.85 billion in bonuses to staff.

Chief executive Antony Jenkins is shutting the bank's controversial Structured Capital Markets tax advisory division and said 1,800 jobs would go in corporate and investment banking and another 1,900 across its European retail and business arm as part of a plan to slash costs by £1.7 billion. All of the 1,900 retail job cuts involve the bank's European arm, with redundancies across Spain, Italy, Portugal and France.

Nearly £2.5 billion of cash set aside to cover mis-selling compensation claims contributed to a plunge in pre-tax profits to £246 million in 2012 from £5.9 billion the previous year.

Its bonus pot will mean each employee gets £13,300 on average, with an average of £54,100 for investment banking staff, although the pool is lower than the £2.2 billion paid out last year. Barclays said 1,600 jobs have already been cut in the investment banking business since the start of the year.

Mr Jenkins, who was appointed in August after Bob Diamond quit in the wake of the bank's £290 million Libor-rigging settlement, insisted bonuses had been reduced after last year's string of reputational blows. He said the bank's compensation ratio - pay as a proportion of revenues - had fallen to 38% from 42% in 2011.

Mr Jenkins announced he was waiving his bonus for 2012 earlier this month, but the overall staff bonus pot for 2012 is likely to stoke further controversy given the recent series of scandals to rock the group.

Barclays said profits rose 26% to £7.05 billion on an underlying basis, with mis-selling provisions stripped out and not including movements in the value of its own debt. Bottom line profits were heavily impacted by mis-selling provisions, with £1.6 billion put by to cover claims relating to payment protection insurance (PPI) and £850 million for interest rate swaps sold to small businesses.

It said the average PPI claim stood at £2,750, while it added the group sold around 4,000 interest rate swaps to small businesses of which around 3,000 were liable to potential mis-selling claims.

Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: "The chief executive's promise of a culture shift at the bank is to be welcomed but we need to see more progress to address the gap between the highest paid and the lowest paid staff at Barclays, which is huge.

"It's shocking but true that the starting salary at Barclays is just £13,500 a year, making some workers at the bank eligible to claim tax credits. With pay negotiations due to start soon, Unite will be expecting the bank to reward its staff fairly for their contribution to the success of the bank."

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