Barclays to Reduce Office Space in Roppongi Following Tokyo Job Cuts

The bank cuts back its office space at Mori Tower to restore profitability amid lower revenues and higher costs.

In a further cost-cutting exercise, Barclays is planning to reduce office space at its loss-making Japanese brokerage after trimming jobs earlier in the year.

Barclays currently rents 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, according to sources quoted by Bloomberg today.

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Around 100 staff from equities in Tokyo were asked to leave earlier this year as part of the UK bank’s plans to cut jobs across Asia, as reported by Finance Magnates.

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According to a Barclays statement: “This consolidation of office space is the logical consequence of that earlier decision, We have had a significant presence in Japan for close to 50 years, and our new, sharper focus ensures that we will be an even stronger player in the Japanese market in the years ahead.”

Fines, Revenues and Regulation Costs

The scope of the UK lender’s investment-banking business has been shaved to bolster profitability which has taken a hit following a series of misconduct fines, lower trading revenue and higher regulatory costs.

In its latest earnings disclosure, Barclays Securities Japan posted a loss of ¥8.6 billion ($85 million) for the year ended 31 March, increasing from ¥2.9 billion ($28 million) the previous year. With 503 employees, staff levels are down from 588 a year earlier.

Amidst waning profit margins and declining revenues in the industry, UBS’s wealth management unit, one of the largest in the world, recently announced a hiring freeze for the group in an effort to cut costs after avoiding hires throughout the whole of H1 2016.

Just last week, the Swiss bank completed its plans for a relocation of 56 back-office jobs from its Luxembourg branch to its office in Wroclaw, Poland, as part of the bank’s cost-cutting strategy in its efforts to restore profitability.

The current spate of job cuts is not unusual in such times as other banks have gone even further in re-shaping their workforces. Last October, Deutsche Bank announced plans to phase out in excess of 35,000 jobs while other banks including Barclays and Standard Chartered adopted new strategies with leaner operations and newly-combined business segments.

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