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Barclays' bankers and traders are living in fear of early May

When Barclays announced its fourth quarter results in February, it also unveiled a programme of cost-cutting. 

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Barclays' cost-cutting programme entails the removal of £2bn ($2.5bn) in costs between 2024 and 2026, of which £700m will come from the corporate and investment bank. £340m of the £2bn will come from cutting headcount. £188m of that £340m will come from cutting people in the corporate and investment bank in particular.

Barclays stated these intentions two months ago. Sources at the bank say the cuts haven't happened yet.

The fear is that they're due, soon.

"The corridor talk is that they'll happen on May 8th," says one trader in New York. "I heard May," says one European banker. "We haven't been told yet, but the fear is that they'll be deep," says a London banker. "My impression is that they've already made their decision about who to cut," he adds.

Barclays declined to comment. The British bank is due to announce its second quarter results on May 25th. Costs consumed 70% of revenues in Barclays' corporate and investment bank last year and the return on tangible equity in the CIB was only 7%. Speaking to Bloomberg in March, Barclays' CEO C.S. Venkatakrishnan said that if revenues don't increase sufficiently in the investment banking division to raise the "RoE efficiency" of the bank, then cuts may need to be even deeper.  

Macro traders at the bank are particularly concerned about their futures as Barclays reduces the risk weighted assets allocated to the investment bank. In March, Bloomberg reported that Barclays was preparing "hundreds" of job cuts. So far, insiders say they've only seen a few people go for poor performance. Headhunters say they're fielding calls from Barclays insiders fearful that the axe is about to fall.

In the meantime, there are signs that Barclays' US investment bankers are still leaving for UBS. Technology banker Sean Lynch has just quit to open a new UBS office in Menlo Park.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Wh
    What The F
    23 April 2024

    What on earth is that picture of? It has to be an AI photo surely.

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