Cuts loom at Barclays as 428 workers earn over £1m

Antony 'Axe man' Jenkins sets out plans to cut almost a third of Barclays' workforce over the next decade, as it's revealed more than 400 staff were paid over £1m in 2012.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 21 Mar 2013

Since Antony Jenkins took the helm of troubled banking giant Barclays last year, the new CEO has been overhauling the bank’s structure to cut costs and help clean up its image.

Last month Jenkins revealed that 3,700 jobs are to go, but it appears there could be more brutal plans on the horizon. According to a person present at a recent shareholder meeting, Jenkins has hinted that he wants to operate with as few as 100,000 staff – meaning an almost a 30% reduction on the bank’s current headcount of 140,000.

According to Sky News, Jenkins floated the idea of large-scale job cuts over a period of 10 years in a recent meeting with investors. However, the insider stressed that a formal target hasn’t been set – it’s ‘blue-sky thinking about the long-term future.’

Meanwhile, Barclays has confirmed it paid 428 staff more than £1m in 2012.

That was down from 473 in 2011, but came despite a year in which its reputation was severley damaged by the libor-rigging scandal.

When announcing Barclays’ annual results last month, Jenkins pledged to eliminate £1.7bn in costs by 2015 as part of an ambitious plan to overhaul the bank. Last month, Antony Jenkins axed 3,700 jobs to meet part of those targets. Some 1,800 posts were shed in the bank’s investment arm, and the other 1,900 rather more unexpectedly in the European retail and business division.

At the same shareholder meeting, Antony Jenkins apparently said that operating costs will be a bank's key strategic advantage in future. So he seems to be preparing Barclays for that slightly dystopian vision by turning it into the Ryanair of banking.

Jenkins was appointed to run Barclays last summer after the bank was embroiled in a furore over libor-rigging allegations, which resulted in the bank being slapped with a £290m fine and lead to the departure of former CEO Bob Diamond.

'I believe that Barclays has many people who are highly ethical and who behave with integrity,' he told MT in his first major interview as the bank’s new CEO. 'But I also think that for the past few years we have not operated at the standard I would expect for the organisation and we have to change that.'

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