Barclays has announced that it is to cut in the region of 1200 jobs, with the majority of these job losses occurring in its current Asia operations. The job losses come on the back of the decision to close down a number of its investment banking operations in the region; however it is not only Asia that Barclays will retreat from. There will also be a shutdown of their Russia operations, although the Russian market will still be covered from Barclays’ London operation. As well as the cutback in its investment banking operations, the bank announced that it is looking to remove itself from the precious metals trading market.
The decisions are part of Barclays’ strategy to focus its efforts on geographical areas that it believes will experience the most growth in the future, namely the UK and the US. Tom King, head of the investment banking arm of Barclays, said that focusing on areas in which the bank has a sustainable competitive advantage will allow it to thrive rather than merely just survive. Whilst the bank is heavily cutting back on its Asian investment banking operations, it will keep offices on the ground in Hong Kong, China, Japan and India, signalling that it does not believe that there is no growth to be found in the Asian markets.