(Alliance News) - Barclays PLC is exploring the possibility of dropping thousands of its investment bank clients - a quarter of its total - amid a strategic overhaul to bolster its bottom line and cut GBP1 billion of costs, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

Citing "people briefed on the discussions", the newspaper said the restructuring at Barclays has been codenamed 'Minerva' after the Roman goddess of wisdom. It has seen the firm's executives meeting several times this year.

The executives had considered other proposals, including raising capital to buy a wealth or asset management business or cutting its investment bank's trading assets by as much as 25%, but ultimately decided against these, the FT reported.

The bank is likely to cut ties with its least profitable IB clients, the FT's sources said. The proposals could see Barclays ending investment banking relationships with more than 2,500 customers out of its 10,000 in total, it said. The savings would be redeployed to consumer and credit card operations, the sources said.


On Thursday last week, Reuters reported that Barclays is considering plans to cut 1,500 to 2,000 jobs, mostly from the back office, also to save GBP1 billion, as Barclays Chief Executive CS Venkatakrishnan reviews proposals to boost profitability.

In October, Barclays reported pretax profit of GBP1.89 billion for the third quarter of 2023, down 4.3% from a year before. Credit impairment charges were increased by 14% to GBP433 million, and Barclays also trimmed its UK net interest margin guidance.

Barclays at the time said it is "evaluating actions to reduce structural costs to help drive future returns", adding it expected to book "material additional charges" in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Barclays shares were down 0.4% to 139.62 pence in London on Tuesday morning. The stock is down 12% over the past 12 months.

By Tom Waite, Alliance News editor

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