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December 9, 2021

Barclays to sharpen focus on Asian countries in 2022

By Johney Amala

British banking giant Barclays is reportedly set to add key roles in its investment banking and wealth management business across Asia in 2022.

The move is part of the bank’s strategy to grow its presence in some of the Asian markets, which it exited following a strategic restructure five years ago, Bloomberg reported.

According to Barclays Asia-Pacific head and India CEO Jaideep Khanna, Barclays is aiming to build its presence in China, India, Singapore and Australia.

The bank is planning to make strategic hires in Japan and Hong Kong as well.

Khanna told the news agency in an interview: “We are profitable in the region and I fully expect it to continue in 2022.

“Our focus is going to be consistent – try and stick to the areas where we are strong. There are enough areas for us to drive returns today and that’s what we are focused on.”

In 2016, Barclays closed down its cash equities business in Asia and slashed some 1000 jobs across its investment bank globally as part of its efforts to cut down costs and increase returns under former CEO Jes Staley.

The bank, which also trimmed down its business in Asian countries including Australia, South Korea and Malaysia, maintained its Asian prime brokerage and derivatives business.

Barclays has made several strategic hires this year in China and plans to continue its investment ‘in a calibrated and deliberate manner’.

According to Khanna, the bank is planning local hires across its Singapore private banking business and Australian investment banking unit.

He said in the interview: “Barclays in 2021-22 is a very different business that existed prior to 2016.

“It is much more focused now, generating better returns with more local knowledge and more self-awareness.”

In August this year, Barclays said that it was planning to infuse more than $400m to its Indian arm as part of a strategy to ramp up its operations in the country.

The bank employees the highest number of employees in India, after the UK.

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