LONDON Jan 29 Barclays is planning to
shut 400 UK branches, or a quarter of its network, as part of
the bank's plan to cut costs, the Financial Times said on
Chief Executive Antony Jenkins is due to lay out a final
phase of his overhaul plan in two weeks and set new targets on
how staff conduct themselves as he tries to improve culture
following a string of industry scandals.
He is expected to put renewed focus on costs, and
Wednesday's Financial Times said he would axe 400 of its 1,600
UK branches, without citing sources.
Barclays declined to comment.
Jenkins aims to cut 1.7 billion pounds ($2.8 billion) in
annual costs and has previously said thousands of jobs are
likely to go as technology improves efficiency. The bank is
cutting several hundred jobs in its investment bank, a person
familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Barclays and other UK banks such as Lloyds and RBS
are expected to pare their branch networks as customers
increasingly use internet and mobile platforms and lenders try
to raise profitability.
Barclays is trialling smaller sites in Asda
supermarkets, which could replace some traditional branches.
The Sunday Telegraph this week said Barclays could cut 400
UK branches and 40,000 staff, but said that would be over six
years, citing sources at the bank.
"The banking industry is going through what I like to call a
100-year transformation," Jenkins said last week in Davos.
He plans to set out eight commitments at annual results on
Feb. 11 for Barclays to achieve by 2018. This comes a year after
he set out a strategic overhaul - dubbed "Project Transform" -
which involved axing 3,700 jobs, pruning the investment bank and
shutting nearly one in three branches in continental Europe.
Jenkins last week said the eight commitments would form "the
last piece in this big transformation" he is making at the bank.