Barclays to shut wealth management services in 130 countries

Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:17am EDT

Logos are seen outside a branch of Barclays bank in London July 30, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Logos are seen outside a branch of Barclays bank in London July 30, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

(Reuters) - Barclays Plc will stop offering wealth management services in about 130 countries by 2016 and cut jobs in the unit as part of an effort to rein in costs and boost profit.

"This is part of our new strategy, focusing on reducing complexity and competing where we can win," a Barclays spokesman said.

Barclays Wealth employs about 8,000 staff, and the spokesman said there is unlikely to be a significant change to that number although some jobs will go as part of new structure and technology.

Barclays announced plans in April to restructure its wealth business so it works more closely with retail and corporate banking divisions and rolled out its new strategy this week after appointing Peter Horrell as chief executive of its wealth and investment management unit on Monday.

Horrell had held the position on an interim basis since May, when his predecessor Tom Kalaris was ousted.

Profitability at Barclays' wealth business continues to lag rivals and the targets of CEO Antony Jenkins. The division posted a return on equity of just 2.5 percent in the first half of this year.

The plan will see the Wealth unit focus on 70 markets, which it estimates covers 86 percent of the global wealth market, and leave countries where it lacks scale or which are unprofitable.

Under the plan the bank will stop full-service wealth management for thousands of customers with between 100,000 and 500,000 pounds to invest. They will be served by a "lighter touch" new segment called "Private Clients".

Other banks are also restructuring in wealth management and Credit Suisse said this week it will pull back from some countries.

Barclays Wealth, which has about 200 billion pounds ($321.36 billion) of assets under management, aims to cut the number of its "booking centers", which enable clients to trade and book assets in particular jurisdictions, to about a dozen from 17.

(Reporting by Abhirup Roy in Bangalore and Steve Slater in London; Editing by David Cowell)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (3)
stambo2001 wrote:
I bet we see this start to happen with a lot of these ‘services’ as the taper grows closer. Once the free money tap is turned off just watch as all that useless paper is used to buy precious metals. China and India have instructed their populations to buy gold. The German’s want their gold back from the Fed, and other countries will be lining up soon as well. Let’s see if the house of cards that is the American dollar can last the decade.

Sep 26, 2013 8:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Overcast451 wrote:
*Let’s see if the house of cards that is the American dollar can last the decade.*

With people like Obama and Bush running the show – it’s not likely it will.

Sep 26, 2013 9:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:
In order to offer wealth management services in a 130 countries there has to be some wealth to manage. Once the wealth starts to disappear the need to manage that wealth also disapppears.

Sep 26, 2013 11:48am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.