Barclays to eliminate 12,000 jobs after Q4 net loss widens

British banking giant Barclays Plc today said that it will eliminate 12,000 jobs this year in a bid to reduce costs after its fourth quarter net loss widened to £642 million.

Barclays to eliminate 12,000 jobs after Q4 net loss widensFor the full year, Barclays today reported profit of £3.2 billion, down from £5.4 billion in 2012.

The full-year results include £1.2 billion restructuring charges.

The latest job cuts come after the British lender cut 7,650 jobs last year, as part of a restructuring to reduce annual costs by  £1.7 billion by 2015.

The London-based lender is cutting 9 per cent of its 139,600-strong workforce, with 7,000 job cuts in Britain and the rest spread across its global operations.

The job cuts include 820 senior managers comprising 220 managing directors and 600 directors.

The bank said half of the UK staff affected by the cuts had been notified and it hoped the majority of redundancies would be voluntary.

Barclays, whose stock has declined by nearly 9 per cent over the last 12 months, said its fourth quarter earnings before tax fell 86 per cent, mainly because its investment banking division incurred a loss of £329 million.

Last year Barclays had raised bonuses at its investment banking unit by 13 per cent to £1.6 billion, and paid £2.4 billion ($3.9 billion) across the bank as incentive awards.

''At Barclays we believe in paying for performance and paying competitively,'' said Antony Jenkins, Barclays chief executive. ''Ensuring that we have the right people in the right roles serving our customers and clients effectively in a highly competitive global environment is vital to our ability to generate sustainable shareholder returns.''

''We employ people from Singapore to San Francisco. We compete in global markets for talent. If we are to act in the best interests of our shareholders, we have to make sure we have the best people in the firm,'' he added.

Barclays has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in recent times.

This week several media reports said that as many as 27,000 Barclays customer files with personal and financial information had been stolen, the latest in a series of blows to the bank. (See: Barclays investigating massive leak of customer information)

It has been accused along with other major banks, of involvement in rigging of benchmark Libor rates (See: Libor list exposes top Barclays executives).

In July last year US power regulator Federal Energy Regulatory Commission fined Barclays and four of its traders $453 million  for manipulating power prices in California and other western markets between November 2006 and December 2008 (Barclays fined $453 mn for fudging US electricity markets). 

An internal report prepared for the bank by investment banking attorney Anthony Salz in 2013, says the lender put profit ahead of customers and let lending standards slip from the early 2000s (See: Barclays puts profit ahead of customers: review).