Barclays to axe up to 12,000 jobs while boosting bonuses
British bank paid €2.85 billion in bonuses last year despite falling profits
Barclays today said its total bonus pool for 2013 rose to £2.38 billion (€2.85 billion) from £2.17 billion for 2012. Photo: Bloomberg
Barclays said it would axe up to 12,000 jobs this year even as it raised bonuses for investment bankers, prompting fury among politicians and unions who said it had not learned the lessons of the financial crisis.
Stepping up efforts to cut costs, Barclays said up to 9 per cent of employees could go, including 7,000 in Britain, where half of the affected staff had already been notified.
Britain’s third-biggest bank said it paid £2.38 billion (€2.85 billion) in incentive awards last year after raising bonuses at the investment bank by 13 per cent despite a slump in profits from the business.
The group said its investment banking staff would share £1.57 billion in bonuses, giving an average payout of £60,100 per employee in the division.
The combination of lay-offs and fatter bonuses drew indignation from Britain’s biggest labour union.
“The culture change the bank promised will be less than skin deep if those at the top still hoover up obscene amounts of money while workers in call centres and branches struggle by on low wages and face the persistent pressure of job insecurity,” said Ciaran Naidoo of Unite the Union.
Barclays chief executive Anthony Jenkins, who took the helm in 2012 after an interest rate rigging scandal, is attempting to improve culture and standards while also reducing risk and strengthening the balance sheet.
He defended the bigger bonus pot, saying the bank had to recruit the best staff to compete with global rivals and continued to have “constructive” talks with investors over pay.
Barclays said 820 senior roles would go, and half of those were cut at the investment bank in the last two weeks.