Barclays considers dropping thousands of investment banking clients - report
Barclays is reportedly exploring a plan to drop thousands of clients at its investment bank as part of a strategic overhaul that is meant to boost profits and cut £1bn of costs.
The Financial Times cited people briefed on the discussions as saying that Barclays executives have met several times this year to thrash out the restructuring, codenamed Minerva after the Roman goddess of wisdom.
Chief executive CS Venkatakrishnan is under pressure to reduce Barclays’ reliance on investment banking and return more capital to investors, with a public announcement expected in February.
It was understood that Barclays executives considered, but ultimately shied away from, several radical options. The boldest involved raising capital to buy a wealth or asset management business. Another involved a drastic reduction in trading assets at the investment bank of as much as 25%, with the balance sheet redeployed to the consumer and credit card operations.
However, following opposition from co-heads of trading Adeel Khan and Stephen Dainton, Venkatakrishnan is set to chart a more moderate course, the FT said.
Sources said Barclays was likely to focus on cutting ties with its least profitable investment banking clients. This could mean ending relationships with more than 2,500 customers out of more than 10,000, although sources stressed no final decisions had been made.
One person close to Barclays disputed the figure was that high.