Barclays Said to Cut About 150 Dubai Corporate Banking Jobs

  • Bank to close Emaar square offices located in downtown Dubai
  • Standard Chartered, HSBC and BNP also cut jobs in Middle East

Barclays Plc will cut about 150 jobs in Dubai as the U.K. lender restructures its Middle East corporate banking business, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The bank will close its offices at Emaar Square and relocate bankers and support staff to its office at Dubai International Financial Centre, said the person, asking not to be identified because the dismissals aren’t public. Barclays will keep its corporate branch in Abu Dhabi and wholesale banking license with U.A.E. Central Bank, the person said.

Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley plans to eliminate 1,200 jobs worldwide and shut securities operations across Asia, people with knowledge of the matter said last month. The former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker has also imposed a hiring freeze and is restructuring the wealth-management business to shore up earnings growth, people familiar have said.

Barclays is adopting an operating model that better leverages global capabilities and its centers of excellence in the Middle East, according to a spokesman in Dubai.

1,500 Bankers

Banks in the U.A.E may have cut as many as 1,500 jobs in the past six months, according to financial recruiters and Bloomberg calculations. While dismissals are taking place at international companies such as Standard Chartered Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc, local lenders, once seen as havens for seasoned expatriate bankers, are also scaling back.

European investment banks are being hurt by a slump in revenue, tougher financial regulation and rising costs tied to compliance, forcing them to focus on the most profitable units. Local lenders are making cuts as a plunge in the oil price tightens liquidity and defaults rise.

HSBC laid off about 150 employees at its retail, commercial banking operations in the U.A.E., a person with knowledge of the matter said in November. Standard Chartered also cut about 100 positions at the end of the year, the recruiters said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. BNP Paribas SA was considering more than 100 job cuts in October, two people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

Barclays had planned to increase the number of corporate bankers in the Gulf by more than 10 percent in 2014, Rezwan Mirza, head of that business in the U.A.E and Gulf countries, said in an interview that year. The bank agreed to sell its retail banking business in the U.A.E to Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC for 650 million dirhams ($177 million) in April.

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