Barclays lets go some Singapore staff as bank said to cut over 1,000 jobs worldwide

Barclays' headquarters in Canary Wharf, east London.
Barclays' headquarters in Canary Wharf, east London.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Barclays has let go some of its employees in Singapore, part of the global job cuts the British bank is reportedly conducting.

Media reports overnight said that Barclays is cutting over 1,000 jobs worldwide, of which 230 will be in Asia as the bank scales down its regional operations.

A source close to Barclays Singapore, which has about 3,200 staff, confirmed the reports, adding that more than 10 jobs were cut in the equities and local market rates teams.

"My number is only for the trading floor and does not include back offices where many more are being let go," the person told the Straits Times.

Bloomberg News reported earlier that Barclays is closing its cash equity research, sales and trading as well as its convertible bond-trading businesses across Asia, according to a memo sent to clients.

It is reportedly exiting operations in Australia, Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia but plans to maintain its offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Japan and India, and keep its prime brokerage and derivatives business in Asia. About 80 positions in Tokyo were let go this morning, Bloomberg said.

Sources told the the Straits Times that Barclays will focus on investment banking in China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.

It is exiting investment banking in Australia, Indonesia, Philippines and Russia but will support clients from outside those regions.

Hong Kong-based Barclays spokeswoman Angie Tang told the Straits Times, "We are constantly monitoring our opportunities in different geographies and businesses over the cycle. If any firm decisions are made, we will provide an update."

She declined to comment on the bank's country specific plans.

Several global banks including Royal Bank of Scotland and CIMB have been trimmed their Asian operations in recent months as China's economic slowdown, market volatility and a drop in deal volumes force lenders to cut costs.

Standard Chartered announced late last year a cut of 15,000 jobs globally. The bank did not reveal how many jobs were cut in Singapore, where it had around 7,000 staff.

whwong@sph.com.sg