Barclays is back on the hiring wagon. Tim Throsby, head of the investment bank, has appointed himself head of the global markets division too and is said to be recruiting 50 to 100 people, some of whom have already arrived.
Is it ‘safe’ to join Barclays now though? In the past decade the British bank has achieved a reputation for hiring and then firing. The FT’s claim today that Barclays is sniffing around Asia again (after shutting part of its Asian business and declaring itself a US and UK-focused investment bank), suggests a continuation of the same old cycle. On the plus side, however, Barclays insiders say things are looking up now that ex-CEO and retail banker Antony Jenkins’ is a distant memory and Throsby has a growth plan.
Nonetheless, if you’re thinking of working for Barclays you might want to ask some pertinent questions about strategy. Helpfully, Deutsche Bank’s team of banking analysts – who were pretty keen on Barclays’ investment bank only a few months ago – have issued a set of questions for Barclays’ management which we’ve parsed below. You could always ask them, gently, at the end of a Barclays interview…
1. How sustainable are revenues in the investment bank?
Revenues at Barclays’ investment bank were ahead of expectations for 2016, with performance solid throughout the year. But the first quarter of 2017 was a miss because of the poor performance of your rates business. What’s the sustainable revenue level for Barclays’ investment bank? Are you continuing to grow market share?
2. What are you doing about Brexit?
What does Barclays plan to do in terms of passporting rights and Europe? How do you plan to maintain equivalent access to Europe if there is no passporting? What percentage of the business in your investment bank is done with European customers?
3. How big do you expect the investment bank to be relative to the rest of your business?
Barclays has been reducing the size of its investment bank in recent years. What’s your intended mix of the investment bank and the retail bank in future?
4. What’s the cost plan?
What proportion of the £1bn of costs associated with your structuring reform programme has already been expensed? How much is to come? How much flexibility do you have with the cost base of the investment bank? Are you expecting to increase investment in areas of the investment bank?
5. How are you coping with the requirements of your US intermediate holding company (IHC)?
What level of capital do you think your IHC needs to hold in the U.S.? Is this a problem? Are you expecting a similar regime in Europe after Brexit? What would be the implications of this for Barclays?