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Barclays shares soaring as workforce dwindles

SHARES in Barclays soared 3.8% as investors anticipated a profit boost following speculation that an upcoming strategy review will see jobs axed at its investment banking arm.

London-based Barclays is a large employer in Glasgow, where it has a major back office unit employing about 2200 people.

Barclays said yesterday it would provide a strategy update to investors on May 8 which would include the positioning the investment bank in a changed operating and regulatory environment.

The latest review comes just over a year since Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins unveiled his Transform programme to make Barclays more efficient, which involved thousands of job losses.

The agenda for the update, which Barclays said is "to deliver improved and sustainable returns and growth for shareholders", suggests that Barclays will retain an investment banking arm but could make cuts.

Jasper Lawler, analyst at CMC Markest UK, said: "The prospect of a culling of jobs at Barclays helped the company's stock to one of the biggest rises in UK markets today.

He added: "With a mind to cutting costs, executives appear to have made the rational decision to keep their own bonuses while laying off other members of the workforce."

Barclays' shares closed up 8.95p at 246.5p.

In February, Barclays set out plans to cut between 10,000 and 12,000 jobs this year, including 7,000 in the UK. Some shareholders have complained about the pace of Mr Jenkins's cost-cutting measures while its bonus bill rose last year.

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