Barclays to axe at least 3700 jobs

Scandal-hit banking giant Barclays is to axe at least 3700 jobs under a strategic overhaul.

Chief executive Antony Jenkins is shutting the bank's controversial Structured Capital Markets tax advisory division and said 1800 jobs would go in corporate and investment banking and another 1900 across its European retail and business arm as part of a plan to slash costs by STG1.7 billion ($A2.61 billion).

Nearly STG2.5 billion of cash set aside to cover mis-selling compensation claims contributed to a plunge in pre-tax profits to STG246 million in 2012 from STG5.9 billion the previous year.

The bank's bonus pot will mean each employee gets STG13,300 on average, with an average of STG54,100 for investment banking staff, although the pool is lower than the STG2.2 billion paid out last year.

Barclays said 1600 jobs have already been cut in the investment banking business since the start of the year.

Jenkins, who was appointed in August after Bob Diamond quit in the wake of the bank's STG290 million Libor rigging settlement, insisted bonuses had been reduced after last year's string of reputational blows.

He said the bank's compensation ratio - pay as a proportion of revenues - had fallen to 38 per cent from 42 per cent in 2011.

Jenkins announced he was waiving his bonus for 2012 earlier this month, but the overall staff bonus pot for 2012 is likely to stoke further controversy given the recent series of scandals to rock the group.

Barclays said profits rose 26 per cent to STG7.05 billion on an underlying basis, with mis-selling provisions stripped out and not including movements in the value of its own debt.

Bottom line profits were heavily impacted by mis-selling provisions, with STG1.6 billion put by to cover claims relating to payment protection insurance (PPI) and STG850 million for interest rate swaps sold to small businesses.

It said the average PPI claim stood at STG2750, while it added the group sold around 4000 interest rate swaps to small businesses of which around 3000 were liable to potential mis-selling claims.

Barclays said its investment banking business delivered a 37 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to STG4.1 billion in 2012.

The bank's UK retail and business banking division saw profits tumble 71 per cent to STG292 million after PPI provisions, although it said profits rose four per cent to STG1.5 billion on an underlying basis.

Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: "The chief executive's promise of a culture shift at the bank is to be welcomed but we need to see more progress to address the gap between the highest paid and the lowest paid staff at Barclays, which is huge.

"It's shocking but true that the starting salary at Barclays is just STG13,500 a year, making some workers at the bank eligible to claim tax credits.

"With pay negotiations due to start soon, Unite will be expecting the bank to reward its staff fairly for their contribution to the success of the bank."

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