Barclays Said to Boost Severance Offer for Fired Tokyo Staff

  • Barclays decided in January to close cash equities operation
  • Bank said to raise offers by equivalent of three months' pay

Barclays Plc boosted severance packages for equities employees dismissed in Tokyo last month, adding the equivalent of three months of pay to some of the 80 workers affected who had rebuffed initial offers, people familiar with the matter said.

Human resource representatives for the London-based bank presented the increased severance offer during meetings with the equity research and sales staff that began last week, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. Barclays is offering the additional pay on top of the two-month to seven-month packages originally presented in January, the people added.

Barclays’s Tokyo-based spokesman Kyota Narimatsu declined to comment.

Many of the fired cash equity analysts, traders and sales personnel declined to sign their severance packages in January as the amounts on offer were lower than the market standard, the people said.

Typical Severance

Severance pay in Japan over the past two years has typically ranged from 12 months to 36 months at overseas banks, according to the Federation of Foreign Bank Employees Union. The group doesn’t represent the Barclays employees.

"Barclays’ additional severance pay sounds very low compared with the practice in Japan when it comes to a closure or withdrawal" from a business, said Kazuyuki Sugimoto, secretary general at the union.

The Tokyo employees were informed of their dismissals by the Eiji Nakai, the bank’s Japan president, in a 7:30 a.m. town hall meeting on Jan. 21, people familiar with the situation said at that time.

Nakai said the bank will close its cash equities operation in Japan and focus instead on derivatives, prime brokerage and electronic trading, the people said in January.

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