Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins has suggested that up to 40,000 jobs could be cut at the bank as customers switch to automated banking, according to reports.
In meetings with shareholders of the bank, Mr Jenkins has said that he saw a future in which the bank employed 100,000 staff, Sky News has reported. Barclays currently hires roughly 140,000 people.
It is understood that Mr Jenkins has discussed with investors the possibility of Barclays will become a self-service-oriented company, thereby allowing the remaining staff to focus on delivering “added value” to its customers.
However, one insider at the bank told Sky News that Mr Jenkins was not setting any formal targets and his comments should be regarded as “blue-sky thinking about the long-term future”.
His comments come just a month after Barclays announced it was cutting 3,700 jobs in a major overhaul of the bank and £1.7bn cost cuts as part of Project Transform, a radical bid to restore the bank’s tattered reputation.
Mr Jenkins said the cuts showed his plans for change at the bank were not mere “window dressing or PR” as he pointed to the financial cost of exiting controversial businesses.
The bank confirmed it would shut its controversial structured capital markets (SCM) unit, responsible for giving tax advice to the bank’s wealthy clients, while all speculative trading in agricultural commodities would be ended.
In a Strategic Review released at the end of last year, the bank said the changes were an attempt to make a clean break with the past.
The review says: “The behaviours which made headlines during the year stemmed from a period of 20 years in banking in which the sector became too aggressive, too focused on the short-term, and too disconnected from the needs of customers and clients, and wider society.”
It adds: “Barclays is changing.”
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