Barclays to cut 3,700 jobs and close tax avoidance unit

Bank's new boss pledges 'fundamental change' as profits fall after a year of scandal

LAST UPDATED AT 10:05 ON Tue 12 Feb 2013

BARCLAYS is to axe at least 3,700 jobs and close its tax avoidance unit as it prepares to cut costs by £1.7bn.

The shake-up was unveiled by new chief executive Antony Jenkins who this morning pledged to “fundamentally change" the culture of the bank in the wake of a tumultuous 2012 when Barclays' former boss Bob Diamond resigned during the fallout from the Libor scandal.

Jenkins told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he was out to restore the bank's reputation, saying: "It will take years before people change their impression of us. I'm not daunted by that."

He added: “I understand the cynics and the sceptics out there, but cynics and sceptics never built anything. This is about fundamentally changing Barclays and we will be judged by our actions, not our words."

Barclays said just under half of the jobs, 1,800, will be lost from the bank's corporate and investment arms in Britain, while 1,900 will be in European retail and business banking, the BBC notes.

The redundancies, which will take place by 2015, were announced as it was revealed the bank's statutory pre-tax profits fell to £246m in 2012 – down by £5.9bn compared to one year ago.

The fall was due to the bank putting aside £850m for fines over interest rate swaps and £1.6bn for fines over the payment protection insurance scandal as well as buying back £4.5bn of its own debt. With those factors stripped out, the bank's pre-tax profit for 2012 is £7.05bn, an increase of 26 per cent on a year ago.

Despite the planned job losses and fall in profits, Britain's second-largest bank is still set to payout £1.85bn in bonuses to its 139,200 staff this year. · 

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