Many leading lenders and banks in the UK insist that they are not jumping ship on London – however actions generally speak louder than words and Barclays has cut 25% of its office space in the city, which amounts to nearly 5,000 desks, according to a Bloomberg report.
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Several factors are at work here, namely the immediate influence in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, which has triggered wide changes in the prices of offices in London. In addition, vacancy rates and building prices have also provided a shifting playing field. However, Barclays had already established itself as one of the more aggressive lenders by way of job cuts as it attempts to restore its operations to profitability, as with its industry peers.
2016 has been quite unkind to revenue streams and earnings reports for virtually every bank on the continent, with Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered, and Barclays each experiencing financial woes and demolished share prices over the past twelve months.
As recently as September, Barclays also revealed that it would be scaling back its office space, though these cuts were relegated to its Tokyo unit. In this instance, the lender reported it was planning to reduce office space at its loss-making Japanese brokerage after trimming jobs earlier in the year. Barclays was renting two floors of the Mori Tower in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills office complex and is set to vacate around half of the 31st floor, possibly this year, while keeping its space on the 32nd.