Hard times hit British banks: Barclays to close 400 branches, sack workers; massive job cuts also at Lloyds and Royal Bank

Posted by News Express | 30 January 2014 | 3,793 times

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All appears not to be well with the British banking industry. In the past few day, it has been announced that Barclays plans to close around 400 of its 1,600 branches in the UK and cut hundreds of jobs at its investment banking business in a bid to slash costs and hit targets. At the same time, massive staff cuts have been scheduled by the bank as well as by another two of Britain’s – Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Barclays will replace close a quarter of its branches with smaller sites in Asda supermarkets, according to a Financial Times report.

“It is also understood to be preparing to axe several hundred jobs at a senior level in its investment banking business, on top of around 1,700 losses made in the division last year,” London Evening Standard reported yesterday, adding:

“It in comes as high street Lloyds Banking Group also announced plans to shed a further 1,080 jobs across its retail, risk, operations and commercial banking divisions.

“Barclays’ chief executive Antony Jenkins is leading an overhaul to improve results and repair its tarnished image following the group’s £290 million fine for rigging the Libor rate.

“He is expected to set out new financial targets when he presents the bank’s results on February 11.

“Last year Mr Jenkins announced that at least 3,700 jobs would be cut to reduce costs by £1.7 billion, and revealed in shareholder meetings last March that the bank was considering using technology and automation to drastically reduce its workforce further.

“Yesterday it was revealed Barclays has reportedly also ordered staff to cut out all non-essential overseas travel.

“The group has banned employee travel for internal meetings and restricted wider international travel for only essential client and regulator discussions, according to Sky News.

“Barclays declined to comment.

“The banking group sees potential to reduce staff numbers from 140,000 to 100,000 in the coming years. It has already dropped its association with the Boris Bikes scheme in London, and is thought to be reconsidering its £40 million annual Premier League sponsorship deal.”

In a related development, another report has it that Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which is expected to make an £8 billion annual loss after taking another £3bn hit for the mis-selling scandal, is going to announce a substantial cost cutting programme next month.”

Source: News Express

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