January lived up to its reputation as being the leanest month Tuesday as several of London's major financial institutions announced swinging cutbacks.
U.K. bank Barclays has instigated travel restrictions on its staff around the world as part of a renewed cost-cutting drive, according to a person familiar with the situation. Originally reported by Sky News, the ban is on "non-essential" international travel for internal meetings but still allows "essential" discussions with clients and regulators.
Its investment banking division will also see "several hundred" job cuts over the next few weeks, according to the reports. The bank's shares clocked gains of 30 percent last year as new Chief Executive Antony Jenkins launched his strategic review at the beginning of 2013.
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In October, it reported a 26 percent drop in third-quarter net profit to £1.385 billion ($2.22 billion) as earnings at its investment banking arm dropped sharply and announced it had received enquiries from regulatory and enforcement authorities who are investigating potential manipulation of foreign exchange trading practices.
It also announced 1,700 job cuts in November for its customer-facing workers in branches across the U.K. Its full-year earnings for 2013 are due on February 11.
Meanwhile, fellow U.K. lender Lloyds - still part-owned by the nation's taxpayers after it was bailed out by the U.K. government in 2008 - announced around 1,080 "role reductions" as part of a larger strategic review that it launched in 2011. A spokesperson for the bank said that the plan had incorporated a total of 15,000 job cuts with 11,760 now complete. However, it added that redeployment has meant that only a third of role reductions have led to people leaving the group through redundancy.
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"Lloyds Banking Group is committed to working through these changes with employees in a careful and sensitive way," it said in a statement on Tuesday.