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Jan 14, 2009

Barclays to Cut 2,000 Jobs at Retail, Commercial Bank

Barclays Plc, the U.K.’s fourth- biggest bank, plans to eliminate about 2,000 jobs in its retail, commercial-banking and credit-card units, adding to cuts announced yesterday.

“We will take all possible measures to mitigate compulsory redundancies through redeployment, using natural attrition, releasing of contractors, closing vacancies and opening voluntary redundancy registers,” the London-based company said in a statement today.

Today’s job losses are in addition to both the 2,100 jobs Barclays is cutting at its investment-banking, investment- management and private-banking divisions, and the 400 information-technology jobs it’s eliminating in the U.K.

“The business environment is getting very tough and there’s direct pressure on revenue,” said Mamoun Tazi, an analyst at MF Global Securities Ltd. in London who has a “sell” rating on the stock. “The only way to protect earnings is to cut costs. It’s necessary to do. The outlook is poor.”

In all, Barclays has announced more than 4,500 job cuts this year as it tries to reduce costs amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The bank employed about 70,000 people in the U.K. and about 156,000 people globally at the end of October. British banks, insurers and financial- services companies may cut as many 15,000 jobs in the first quarter to reduce costs amid a fall in business confidence and revenue, the Confederation of British Industry said last week.

“We cannot continue with this situation of daily job cuts without any justification or explanation of the broader strategy for the bank,” Graham Goddard, deputy general secretary for trade union Unite, said in a statement today.

Barclays raised 7 billion pounds ($10.2 billion) in November, largely from Qatari and Abu Dhabi funds, to boost capital reserves depleted by writedowns and meet U.K. requirements to stabilize the banking system.

Barclays fell 14 percent to 142.1 pence in London, the biggest decline since Oct. 6, valuing the bank at 11.9 billion pounds.

Source : Bloomberg
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