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Will Barclays ultimately regret its sub-500k decision?

by Dylan Lobo on May 14, 2014 at 12:54

Will Barclays ultimately regret its sub-500k decision?

The monumental overhaul at Barclays means its wealth division has grown in significance.

Last week the bank revealed it would cull 7,000 investment bankers from its ranks in a huge transformation of its business profile.

Profits in the investment bank had been hit by the slowdown in debt trading, while Barclays has been under pressure to reduce its dependence on the unit, which took centre stage under the reign of former chief executive Bob Diamond.

From the ashes, Barclays' wealth unit is likely overtake its investment banking division as the biggest single profit generator in the bank.

With so much focus on the wealth arm now, one wonders whether there is some regret at Barclays decision to place UK clients with assets of below £500,000 in a new ‘lighter touch’ private client division.

The decision, made last November, resulted in a 35% reduction in its private banker head count.

While Barclays stressed at the time these lower net worth clients remained important to the bank, it highlighted they will no longer have day-to-day contact with a regulated investment manager.

'Wealth and Investment Management continues to be a key area of growth within Barclays,' the bank said in a statement at the time.

'We are making good progress in implementing a new strategy, designed to make us the "go-to" provider of wealth and investment management advice and solutions globally. It builds on our strengths, focuses on competing where we can win and simplifies how we operate.  

'We are making changes to the way we service our affluent clients in the UK, and as a consequence a number of private banking and support roles will no longer be required.'

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7 comments so far. Why not have your say?


May 14, 2014 at 13:30

There is no doubt the "abandonment" of clients with liquid assets below £ 500,000 with Barclays Wealth is most unwelcome to its clients in this area . The net result has to be such clients wondering where to place those funds and this is very likely to lead to those clients moving from banking at Barclays . Some avenues for them appear to have closed ( Coutts etc ) and I , for one ( or two, with my wife) would be interested as to areas to explore. Anyone like to contribute to this?

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May 14, 2014 at 15:28

I feel in the new world they are buying time, once the dust has settled they will buy a national DFM, M&A is on its way

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Nil Satis

May 14, 2014 at 15:36

@Early Bird - have you tried Brown Shipley - know a nice chap in their Manchester offic

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Once bitten twice shy

May 14, 2014 at 15:54

The already bought a DFM in Gerrard Investment Management, which they destroyed in only a few years.

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Neil McCann

May 14, 2014 at 19:40

@Early Bird. Try St James's Place - they have no minimum, but it's generally all collectives and no direct investments. But that could be a positive...

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Gary Rusby - GHC Capital Markets Limited

May 15, 2014 at 10:08

Our minimums are as follows:

Model Portfolios such as our DCS service £25k and above

Actively managed tailored portfolios such as our OPS service £50k and above

Fully bespoke portfolios £100k and above

You do not have to be ‘ultra high net worth’ to get a good discretionary managed service.

If you would like further information on what we can provide, email me at or visit our website

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David Cowell

May 15, 2014 at 10:10

Early Bird, I would suggest a boutique, local discretionary manager where the staff are likely to be shareholders and have the best interests of both clients and themselves aligned. If you are in the North, try us at Myddleton Croft.

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