LONDON, Jan 21 (IFR) - Barclays is to cut about 1,000 staff in its investment bank as the UK bank's new chief executive Jes Staley moves to improve profitability in the business by slashing costs, a person familiar with the matter said.
The cuts were announced to staff on Thursday, and most will be in Asia, the source said. Barclays has already cut about 7,000 staff in its investment bank in the last three years, to reduce the unit's headcount to about 17,000.
Tom King, head of investment banking for Barclays, said the bank was "sharpening our focus on the geographies and products where we have a clear competitive advantage". In Asia it will keep a physical presence only in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Singapore.
It will discontinue Asia Pacific local cash equity products, with the exception of electronic execution-only services, and no longer pursue 'high-touch' equities sales, trading, or research coverage of Asia products in any region, King said in a memo to staff, seen by IFR.
The memo did not specify the number of job cuts in Asia.
King said the bank was considering exiting its precious metals business and will close its Moscow office, with coverage of key Russian corporates and financial institutions moving to London.
Its Brazil markets business will be delivered offshore by its New York and London teams, King said in the memo.
Reporting by Steve Slater; editing by Sudip Roy