Barclays CEO Jenkins Sees More Job Losses in Next Two Years

Barclays Plc, Britain’s second-largest bank by assets, plans additional job cuts in the next two years, Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins said.

The largest part of reductions will come from people leaving the company or retiring and not being replaced, Jenkins, 51, said in a speech at the Morgan Stanley European Financials Conference in London today.

Jenkins has told investors the company may cut almost a third of its workforce over the next decade as automation and online banking lower the need for staff, two people familiar with the conversations said earlier this month. The lender plans to eliminate 3,700 jobs this year to reduce annual costs by 1.7 billion pounds ($2.6 billion), it said Feb. 12, when posting a net loss of 1.04 billion pounds for 2012, its first in two decades.

“I expect there will be substantial reductions in staff numbers over time alongside automation, but we are not targeting a specific headcount number,” he said in the speech published on the London-based lender’s website.

Global financial firms have announced job cuts of around 158,308 since the start of last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as they grapple with a weakened euro-area economy and increased pressure from regulators to raise more capital and trim compensation. JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank, said on Feb. 26 it will eliminate as many as 19,000 jobs in mortgage and community banking through 2014 to cut costs.

U.S. Rules

Jenkins said he saw a “long period of subdued growth” for the global economy. The bank has had a “good start” to 2013, he said.

The bank is making plans in the event that U.S. regulators force the firm to create an intermediate holding company for its operations in the country, Jenkins said. Under the plans, banks with more than $50 billion of global assets and more than $10 billion in the U.S. will have to house their U.S. units, including securities trading, in regulated holding companies.

“We recognize what the U.S. authorities are seeking to achieve and have an open and constructive dialog with them,” he said. “From what we see so far, we think this too will be manageable.”

-- Editors: Simone Meier, Edward Evans

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