Dubai: A potential upward revision of a job cut programme announced a year ago at British banking giant Barclays Plc will not result in more job losses across its Middle East operations, a Barclays source told Gulf News.
London’s The Times newspaper reported on Monday that the bank was planning to cut more than 30,000 of its staff within two years as it considers accelerating a cost-cutting programme following the departure of its Chief Executive Antony Jenkins.
Sources in the bank said the news reports on new job cut numbers are hugely inflated from the original target of 19,000 job cuts announced a year ago. “The new numbers are much larger than the targets set by the bank and is largely speculative,” a source said.
The Times report said the bank aims to reduce its global workforce to below 100,000 by the end of 2017 and is considered the only way to address the bank’s underperformance.
In the Middle East, excluding Egypt, Barclays employs 400 people in its wealth and investment management and corporate banking business divisions.
“The bank has made the necessary changes in the head count according to a three-year plan announced a year earlier. With the successful exit from retail banking business in the UAE, we don’t expect any major changes in the region,” a Barclays executive told Gulf News.
In the UAE, Barclays completed the sale of its retail banking business to Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) in September, 2014. As part of the deal 145 retail banking staff from Barclays joined ADIB.
Last year Barclays had announced that it would cut 19,000 jobs across its global operations over the next three years, with about 7,000 of which from Barclays’ investment banking business.
With the recent changes at the top management following the exit of Jenkins, there is speculation that the new CEO would be under pressure to speed up job cuts to boost bank’s bottomlines and share price.
The bank which employs about 132,000 employees is widely expected to expedite job cuts, while technology adoption across its back offices are likely to increase redundancies.
Leading British banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group have reduced thousands of jobs across its global operations which involved global restructurings and sale of non-core business units. Last month HSBC announced that it plans to cut 50,000 jobs across its global operations and shrink its investment banking business.