British banking group Barclays set to close offices in 9 nations to focus on core markets


CNA

TAIPEI–British banking group Barclays Plc. said Monday it will close offices in nine countries, including Taiwan, to focus on the core markets of the United States and United Kingdom.

As part of its investment bank strategy, Barclays said it will cut 1,200 jobs globally and close offices in Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, Russia and Brazil.

In a letter to its clients last week, Barclays also said it has suspended cash equity research, sales and trading, as well as its convertible bond trading operations in Asia.

“With these actions, we are accelerating the Investment Bank strategy outlined in 2014, focusing on its core strengths and running the business for returns. We continue to build on the business’s dual home markets in the UK and U.S.,” Barclays CEO Jes Staley said in a statement.

For clients in Asia with cross-border requirements, services will be offered from offices in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and India, the bank said.

Barclays currently has 55 employees in Taiwan who are involved in both the banking and brokerage businesses and largely cater to institutional clients.

This will not be the first time Barclays exits the Taiwan market. Its banking unit first entered the country in 1990 but pulled out in 1995 before returning in 2005.

Barclays’ brokerage arm established operations in Taiwan in 1996. That unit was sold in 1998, but Barclays re-established a brokerage presence in Taiwan in 2011.