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Jenkins' drive for change drives Barclays higher

Barclays shares surged 4% after chief executive Antony Jenkins' said he would cut 3,700 jobs and tackle the bank's bloated cost base.

 
Jenkins' drive for change drives Barclays higher

Barclays shares have powered ahead after the bank said it would cut at least 3,700 jobs as part of Antony Jenkins' drive for change.

Barclays (BARC.L) advanced 12.5p or 4.2% to 314p, a far cry from their 139p low during the Libor rate fixing scandal last summer.

The bank led London shares higher, with the FTSE 100 trading up 17 points or 0.28% to 6,294, in line with gains across Europe.

Following a strategic review, Barclays said it would slash its headcount and cut costs by £1.7 billion.

Some 1,800 posts will go in the bank's corporate and investment bank division and 1,900 from its Europe retail and business banking arm.

The reductions are expected to result in a restructuring charge of close to £500 million, and elsewhere, more money will be saved and its critics appeased by a 'significant' decrease in Barclays' bonus pot.

For 2012 the average bonus per employee was down 13% year on year to £13,300 and within its investment bank the typical bonus award was cut 17% to £54,100.

Jenkins (pictured), who took over after former chief executive Bob Diamond was forced to leave over the Libor scandal, said he wanted to 'set a new course' for the bank.

'Barclays is changing. We intend to change what Barclays does and how we do it and have set out clear commitments against which our progress can be measured,' he said.

Barclays unveiled news of the job cuts in a statement about its strategic review, previously announced by Jenkins, alongside its final results for 2012.

Despite a probe by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) into its 2008 fund raising and loans to Qatar, the Libor furore and criticism over its corporate and bonus culture more broadly, Barclays' increased adjusted pre-tax profits by 26% to £7.1 billion. Corporate and investment banking profits jumped 46% and wealth management profits advanced 52%.

However, statutory pre-tax profits, which do not ignore the volatile effect of movements in the value of Barclays' bonds, slumped to just £246 million from £5.9 billion in 2011.

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