Barclays is set to unveil plans to scale down its investment-banking team across a number of Asian countries next week. The FTSE 100 lender is expected to close offices in Taiwan and South Korea, with advisory and corporate-finance employees set to be made redundant as growth in the emerging markets in the region has remained sluggish since the financial crash in 2008.
Barclays has indicated that approximately 50 jobs, including positions in the research and equity-sales teams, are set to be axed amid a restructuring plan, part of a wider cost-reduction strategy forecast to result in 19,000 jobs being cut worldwide over the next three years. Since he was appointed as chief executive on 1 December last year, Jes Staley said the bank would aim to reduce its operations in countries where investment banking is not among its main businesses to focus on other core areas in the region.
On January 4, the bank said that, among the reshuffling of its Asian operations, it would also close its India-based equities business, following the example of sector peer Societe Generale. The French bank recently announced the closure of its equities research desk in India, while in 2015, London-listed Standard Chartered, which is primarily focused on Asian markets, said it would pull the plug on the equity franchise it introduced in the region eight years ago.
According to sources cited by Reuters, Staley believes the restructuring plans have proceeded too slowly so far and that the bank needed to slash more jobs.
"We are constantly monitoring our opportunities in different geographies and businesses over the cycle," a Barclays spokeswoman was quoted as saying.
"If firm decisions are made, we will provide an update."
Meanwhile, the lender is also reportedly considering the sale of its Asian private-wealth business, with Julius Baer and Singapore-based DBS Group Holdings thought to be among the potential bidders.