Barclays Plc (BARC) is cutting just under 10 percent of staff in its equities division in Europe, Middle East and Africa as part of a plan to reduce costs amid a slump in trading volumes, said people with knowledge of the matter.
The London-based bank started about two weeks ago to inform staff at the unit, which employs more than 500, that jobs will be cut, and the first departures began this week, according to two people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
“We can confirm that we have begun a consultation process within our EMEA equities franchise,” Barclays spokesman Marc Hazelton said in an e-mail. “We continue to hire selectively across those parts of the business that are growing.”
Barclays is undertaking the biggest revamp of the European equities business since expanding the unit following the purchase of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s North American activities. Securities firms from Milan-based UniCredit SpA (UCG) to Tokyo-based Nomura Holdings Inc. are shrinking equity businesses in Europe as trading volumes fall and profitability decreases.
The cuts at Barclays will affect equity salespeople and traders, as well as support staff, one person said.
Barclays Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins, who succeeded Robert Diamond in August after the bank paid a record fine for rigging the London interbank offered rate, is reviewing which parts of the company may be sold or shrunk as the bank seeks to boost profit and overhaul its culture.
Rich Ricci this month combined part of the bank’s fixed- income and equities operations in his first reorganization since taking sole control of investment banking in June.
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