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Barclays Joins Deutsche Bank in Fixed-Income Trading Cuts

Viren Vaghela and Harry Wilson

(Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc is making cuts to its Japanese fixed income business as Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley slashes costs globally to counter weak profits at its markets unit.

The British bank is parting ways with several salespeople and traders in Tokyo, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing information that isn’t public. The reductions were made in the last week, the people said.

Barclays joins Societe Generale SA and Deutsche Bank AG in cutting their fixed income divisions, which are in the business of trading bonds. Banks are contending with a decade of low and negative rates, eroding trading profits -- and with no end in sight as the European Central Bank remains in easing mode. Japan has been in a similar environment for years. Deutsche Bank moved to eliminate workers in high-yield trading last week, while SocGen has focused the deep cuts to its markets division in fixed income.

Barclays’s corporate and investment bank posted a 4% fall in half-year income to 5.2 billion pounds ($6.4 billion) in August, hit by lower banking fees and a 6% decline in markets income. Operating expenses for the unit were stable at 3.6 billion pounds.

Staley has faced criticism from some shareholders over the performance of the investment bank, which is a centerpiece of his strategy. The American-born CEO is fending off activist investor Edward Bramson, who wants to see the investment bank shrink, by keeping a tighter control on expenses. The bank eliminated 3,000 jobs in the second quarter and is offloading businesses including its automated options business in New York.

A Barclays spokeswoman declined to comment on the Tokyo cuts.

(Adds detail of other banks cutting jobs in third paragraph.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Viren Vaghela in London at vvaghela1@bloomberg.net;Harry Wilson in London at hwilson57@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ambereen Choudhury at achoudhury@bloomberg.net, Marion Dakers

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