Barclays to cut $3.1 bn in costs, 2,000 plus jobs as part of strategic overhaul: report

British banking giant Barclays Plc is planning to cut at least £2 billion ($3.1 billion) from its £20 billion ($31.6 billion) annual costs and axe 2,000 plus jobs as part of a strategic overhaul, the Financial Times today reported, citing bank insiders and analysts.

The cuts will come from some of the London-based bank's investment banking operations in Asia, particularly its equities franchise, as well as a partial wind-down of retail and commercial banking in parts of Europe, such as Italy, the report said.

Under this strategic overhaul initiated by Antony Jenkins, CEO of Barclays, 2,000 jobs will be eliminated and many thousands more are at risk in other areas.

With plans to reinvent Barclays' ethical values and boost profit, Jenkins aims to overhaul the trading of food-based commodities and aggressive but controversial tax structuring, which generated bulk of the bank's investment banking revenue.

However, the business, which specialised in tax avoidance for clients and for the bank itself, is now seen as one of the main reasons for the damage done to Barclays' reputation, said the report.

''It's not before time that it has been closed down,'' said Vince Cable, UK business secretary. ''It was completely unacceptable behaviour – it should not have happened.''