Barclays job losses: Is the new boss asserting his authority?

Antony Jenkins may be seen to be stamping his authority on the bank. Photo: VisMedia

Barclays is about to significantly cut down to size a part of the bank that was built up by the former chief executive, Bob Diamond.

Around 24,000 people work in Barclays' investment arm. Tomorrow the new(ish) boss, Antony Jenkins, will say that he expects more than 7,000 of them will leave the bank over the next few years.

That's getting on for one third of the workforce and is a radical restructuring of the business.

Job losses will be felt mostly in Wall Street and the City of London but also in smaller centres in other parts world. They are in addition to the 12,000 losses announced in Feb.

And that will not be the end of the cuts.

Barclays has warned previously that it will need fewer high street branches in future, though it will not spell out the extent of those closures tomorrow.

The fact is the way we bank is changing. Smartphones and other new technologys are increasingly replacing staff.

Barclays has been criticised for raising the bonus pool for its investment staff. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A new boss asserts his authority?

It's also tempting to see this as a sign that the chief executive is asserting his authority.

Jenkins joined as the new boss at the beginning of 2013, promising "new ethical standards" after a spate of scandals and promising to impose "pay restraint" on Barclays' often-maligned investment bank.

Only two weeks ago, shareholders expressed fury that the bank's bonus pool had gone up despite a fall in profits.

The bottom line is he is under pressure to reduce costs and make the business more profitable. "Fixed income" is the part of the bank not performing.

It is not alone, however: Barclays' branch network in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal is heavily loss making.

Tomorrow they will be hived off into a seperate 'non-core' operation with a view to finding a buyer.