Barclays (NYSE:BCS) CEO Antony Jenkins reportedly recently told investors that he is searching for a way to eventually carve out 40,000 jobs, or about 28%, from the British banking giant.
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According to the Financial Times, Jenkins said that cost reduction is his absolute priority, adding that a bank’s “only competitive advantage is going to be lower costs.”
“He said the only question is: ‘How can you eventually turn this bank into one that can operate with 100,000 staff instead of 140,000?’” one person present at a recent shareholder meeting told the paper.
However, sources told the FT that Jenkins was expressing a 10-year goal, not a specific near-term target.
Barclays declined to comment on the report.
Barclays listed a workforce of 139,200 at the end of 2012, meaning a headcount of 100,000 would represent 28% reduction from those levels.
Last month the London-based banking giant disclosed its first full-year net loss in two decades and unveiled plans to cut another 3,700 jobs in 2013 as part of a turnaround plan and shift in focus. Barclays said it aims to slash its total cost base by 1.7 billion pounds to 16.8 billion pounds in 2015.
“Barclays is changing. We intend to change what Barclays does and how we do it,” Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins said in a statement in February.
U.S.-listed shares of Barclays gained 0.69% to $18.94 early Friday. The stock has rallied almost 9% year-to-date and north of 16% over the past 12 months.