Business World

Thursday 21 September 2017

Barclays to shut its wealth services in 130 countries

Barclays will stop offering wealth management services in about 130 countries by 2016 and cut jobs in the unit as part of an effort to rein in costs and boost profit. Ireland will not be affected by the decision.

"This is part of our new strategy, focusing on reducing complexity and competing where we can win," a Barclays spokesman said.

Barclays Wealth employs about 8,000 staff, and the spokesman said there was unlikely to be significant change to that number, although some jobs would go as part of new structure and technology.

Barclays announced plans in April to restructure its wealth business so it works more closely with retail and corporate banking divisions, and rolled out its new strategy this week after appointing Peter Horrell as chief executive of its wealth and investment management unit on Monday.

Mr Horrell had held the position on an interim basis since May, when his predecessor Tom Kalaris was ousted.

Profitability at Barclays' wealth business continues to lag rivals and the targets of CEO Antony Jenkins. The division posted a return on equity of just 2.5pc in the first half of this year.

The plan will see the wealth unit focus on 70 markets, which it estimates covers 86pc of the global wealth market, and leave countries where it lacks scale or which are unprofitable.

Under the plan, the bank will stop full-service wealth management for thousands of customers with between £100,000 (€119,000) and £500,000 (€594,000) to invest.

'LIGHTER TOUCH'

They will be served by a "lighter touch" new segment called "Private Clients".

Barclays Wealth, which has about £200bn of assets under management, aims to cut the number of its "booking centres", which enable clients to trade and book assets in particular jurisdictions, to about a dozen from 17.

Irish Independent

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