Barclays cuts tech jobs in Asia Pacific, adding to a week of woes

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Barclays has laid off members of its tech team across Asia Pacific as the bank reviews its technology operating model in the region.

Barclays is undergoing a major transformation exercise across the world under the leadership of chief executive Antony Jenkins. His "Transform" strategy has been described as a programme of deep cuts designed at reducing the size and risk of the bank’s balance sheet.

Recruiters told eFinancialCareers that staff cuts had been announced internally this week, and this was confirmed by Barclays in Singapore. The number of people who lost their jobs is not known, but it does affect staff in the three Asia Pacific offices, including Singapore.

Recruiters also suggested that there would be more cuts before the year end, but this could not be confirmed. One said that the revenues being generated in the region were being outstripped by costs.

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A Barclays spokesperson told eFinancialCareers that it had recently reviewed its 'Technology Operating Model' to ensure that its teams were based in the right locations, working on the right activities and projects, and partnering with the business in the most effective way.

"The outcome is that there will be a small reduction in the number of consultant, contract and permanent technology positions across Asia Pacific. This process will allow us to better deliver for all of our stakeholders. We are not limiting the growth of our business; we will continue to invest where we see opportunity in order to become the ‘go-to’ bank.”

It has not been a great week for the bank, which also revealed that it was being investigated for possible currency manipulation. And in its third quarter earnings statement, released this week, the bank posted a 26% decline in net income to 2.8 billion pounds for the nine months to September.

The statement also made reference to other scandals that could have a material impact on its bottom line.

It has already forked out a  US$453 million fine for manipulating a key global interest rate, and in September the Financial Conduct Authority warned Barclays it faces an US$80 million fine for failing to disclose it had entered into advisory agreements with Qatar Holdings before it raised money from Qatari investors in 2008.

The latest blow, reports the Financial Times, comes after losing an appeal against having to pay up to US$700 million to a US hedge fund for a breach of contract over a credit derivatives transaction with Connecticut-based Black Diamond Capital Over and above that, the FT says, it faces a stiff legal and interest bill of up to $400 million.

And to add insult to injury, the Californian authorities have filed a suit to enforce US$470 million in penalties relating to the manipulation of US energy prices - a charge that Barclays is contesting.

"It is not possible to estimate the full impact on the Group if the final conclusion of these matters is adverse," Barclays said in its third-quarter earnings statement.