Barclays to cut 3700 jobs following interest rate scandal

Barclays will cut at least 3,700 jobs in a major restructuring, the bank said Tuesday. The layoffs follow a scandal-ridden year for Barclays, which was was forced to pay a $453 million fine for manipulating a key market interest rate that serves as the basis for trillions in mortgage loans.

Alistair Grant/AP
Customers wait outside a retail branch of Barclays Bank for the bank to open in London, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Barclays PLC has announced plans to cut at least 3,700 jobs in a major restructuring that follows a scandal-hit year for the UK bank.

Barclays PLC has announced plans to cut at least 3,700 jobs in a major restructuring that follows a scandal-hit year for the U.K. bank.

The bank said Tuesday it will cut at least 1,800 positions in the Corporate and Investment Bank unit and 1,900 retail and business banking jobs outside the U.K.

The cuts come after the British institution was forced to pay a $453 million fine for manipulating a key market interest rate that serves as the basis for trillions in mortgage loans. A slew of executives, including chief executive, Bob Diamond, were forced to resign. It also faced criticism for mis-selling of insurance and interest rate products to consumers and small businesses.

The bank's new CEO, Antony Jenkins, has warned his staff that making money won't be the only thing on which they'll be judged. Ethics count — and matter more in the long run than what happens in the fourth quarter.

"It's not complicated," he told the BBC. "It's about recognizing that we're in business to serve our customers and clients, to deliver return for our shareholders. But also to be good for the societies where we do business, particularly Britain, where we are a major bank."

He said the bank has already taken steps to back his words. Barclays has closed the structured capital markets business — which sought ways for its customers to pay less tax on their investments — as well as cutting bonuses and removing branch sales incentives. Even so, he said it would take years before "people changed their impression of us."

"Believe me, I understand the cynics and the skeptics out there," he told the BBC. "But cynics and skeptics never built anything. This is about fundamentally changing Barclays. And we will be judged by our actions not our words."

Barclays recorded a loss of 236 million pounds ($368 million) for 2012 against a net profit of 3.9 billion pounds for 2011. It made 2.45 billion pounds in provisions in 2012 for compensating clients for the mis-sold products.

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