Barclays to cut up to 12,000 jobs

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins: "We have to be competitive on pay"

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Barclays plans to cut between 10,000 and 12,000 jobs this year, including 7,000 in the UK.

The bank, which has 140,000 staff in total, said it had already told about half of the staff affected.

The cuts came as Barclays said it had increased the total amount it paid on staff bonuses last year.

The bank's total bonus pool for 2013 rose by 10% to £2.38bn, from £2.17bn in 2012, with the investment bank's bonus pool increasing by 13%.

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There is blank incomprehension from those not in the industry that the going rate remains so high for people widely seen as being more than walk-ons in the epic near-destruction of global financial capitalism just a short while ago”

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'We have to be competitive on pay and we have to pay for performance," chief executive Antony Jenkins - who has waived his own annual bonus - told the BBC.

"We operate in many countries around the world… we compete for talent in global markets."

Barclays said the job cuts would hit 820 senior manager roles, of which 220 were managing directors and 600 directors. About 400 of the senior job cuts are from the investment bank.

Barclays said it was hopeful it could achieve the majority of the cuts voluntarily.

The fresh job cuts come after the bank cut 7,650 roles last year.

Restructuring

Barclays released its full-year profit figures on Monday, a day earlier than scheduled. The bank said the early release was to "provide clarity" following a media report.

The bank's adjusted pre-tax profits for 2013 fell to £5.2bn, while its statutory pre-tax profits rose to £2.9bn.

Pre-tax profits in its investment banking division slumped 37% to £2.5bn over the year.

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Barclays said its profits were hit by the costs of restructuring the bank last year, including its withdrawal from certain lines of business, as well as legal costs.

Overall, the bank's pay-to-income ratio rose to 43.2% from 40% in 2012, well above the bank's mid-30s target.

The bank said the bonus increase was in the long-term interests of shareholders, but said it was still aiming for a mid-30s ratio over "the medium term".

Canaccord Adams analyst Gareth Hunt said the decision meant that Barclays pay-to-income ratio was above the industry average, currently 40.2% for 2013.

And Roger Barker, director of corporate governance at business lobby group the Institute of Directors, noted the executive bonus pool was nearly three times bigger than the total dividend payout to shareholders.

"In 2013, the bank paid out £859m in dividends compared to a staff bonus pool of £2.38bn. The question must be asked - for whom is this institution being run?" he added.

William Wright, investment banking columnist at Financial News, also criticised Barclays' decision to increase its bonus payouts.

"Barclays can talk until it's blue in the face about it being in the longer-term interest of shareholders, but from the outside, it simply looks wrong," he said.

Treasury Select Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie also waded into the debate over Barclays' decision to increase its bonus pool.

"Shareholders need to make up their minds whether aggregate remuneration is justified by the return on equity," he said.

'Long way to go'

Shares in Barclays fell after the results were released, dropping almost 7% at one point, before recovering slightly to end the day down 3.75%.

Ian Gordon, an analyst at Investec, said Barclays had failed to explain how it would continue to grow revenues.

"It's what they didn't say... they didn't paint a clear picture of what will drive growth."

Mr Jenkins is trying to revamp the image of Britain's third-largest bank, after the aggressive culture of former Barclays boss Bob Diamond culminated in a £290m fine for rigging Libor rates.

Mr Jenkins told BBC Radio 4 that Barclays had made "substantial progress" in his aim of transforming the bank into a so-called "go-to" bank which would be attractive to customers.

But he said further work was needed.

"We do have a long way to go and I acknowledge that," he added.

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