After last February’s unveiling of ‘Transform’, the restructuring plan implemented by chief executive Antony Jenkins, investment bankers at Barclays might have thought they were safe. They were wrong. Very wrong. Transform was just the start. Jenkins has plans for a sequel: Transform 2.
Transform 1 involved the elimination of 1,800 jobs from Barclays’ investment bank. Transform 2 may involve the elimination of several thousand more. Tushar Morzaria, Barclays’ new and highly paid CFO, is tasked with ‘looking afresh at the returns of all businesses, considering both risk and leverage.’ Morzaria’s findings will be revealed when Barclays announces its full year results in February.
That leaves four months for Barclays’ investment bankers to fret about their futures. Barclays’ investment bank accounts for 42% of the group’s risk-weighted assets, and 42% of the bank’s planned leverage reduction will come from reduced derivatives exposure. FICC jobs look particularly at risk; equities jobs look safe by comparison.
The problems at Barclays are helpfully summed up by one sentence from banking analysts at Deutsche. “3Q13 IB revenues were down £899m QoQ while costs were down £75m,” they point out in a note today. The IB division’s cost-to-income ratio spiked in Q3 — a foreboding sign for bankers.
Worse, Deutsche’s analysts agree that as the largest generator of leverage exposure, one of the lowest ROA divisions, with the most regulatory change, Barclays’ investment bank will be at the forefront of any TRANSFORM 2 cost-cutting initiatives.
If this isn’t enough to stoke Barclays’ bankers’ concerns, the chart below from Investec helps illustrate the problems at Barclays Capital. The only good news? It’s not as bad as 2011.