LONDON Feb 12 UK banks led European shares
higher on Tuesday after Britain's third biggest lender, Barclays
, unveiled swingeing cost cuts and a strategic overhaul
that fuelled expectations its peer group would follow suit.
Shares in Barclays rose 8.6 percent to a two year-high as
the bank's new management said it would cut jubs and prune its
investment bank to save 1.7 billion pounds ($2.66 billion) in
UK peers Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking
Group gained 4 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively,
on speculation they may follow in Barclays' footsteps.
They were among top gainers on the pan-European FTSEurofirst
300 index, which provisionally closed 0.5 percent
higher at 1,160.43 points.
"On the back of Barclay's report we've seen a lot of playing
both Lloyds and RBS," Will Hedden, a senior trader at IG, said.
"With the focus on the investment banking changes, there are
a few people who are expecting RBS to be quite aggressive with
its investment bank and push through job cuts."