July 20, 2015 / 8:19 AM / in 2 years

Barclays has not set new target for job cuts: sources

A Barclays sign is seen on the exterior of the Barclays U.S. Corporate headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - Barclays (BARC.L) has set no new targets to cut jobs beyond the 19,000 redundancies which it announced in May last year, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday, playing down a report of further reductions.

The Times newspaper reported that the bank was planning to cut more than 30,000 of its staff within two years as it considers accelerating a cost-cutting program following the departure of Chief Executive Antony Jenkins.

The Times reported that further job cuts may reduce Barclay’s global workforce to below 100,000 by the end of 2017 and is considered the only way to address the bank’s underperformance and hit a target to double its share price.

Jenkins said in May 2014 that the bank would cut 19,000 jobs over the next three years, 7,000 of which would be at Barclays’ investment bank.

Since then, Barclays’ share price has continued to lag rivals and Jenkins was fired this month with the bank saying that new leadership was required to accelerate changes at the bank.

Jenkins’ successor will be expected to cut costs more quickly to achieve better returns and that could mean more aggressive cuts to the bank’s 132,000 workforce.

One source said it was possible that thousands more jobs at the bank could go in the longer term as new technology enables it to automate some functions within its retail bank.

Cuts are also likely to come in middle and back office operations.

Chairman John McFarlane this month assumed the day-to-day running of the bank until a successor is appointed, working particularly closely with Finance Director Tushar Morzaria.

The move echoed McFarlane’s actions at insurer Aviva (AV.L), where he took over the full-time running of the insurer in May 2012 having delivered a critical assessment of Chief Executive Andrew Moss’s five years in charge.

Shares in Barclays, which were unchanged at 0730 GMT, currently trade at 0.8 times the value of the bank’s assets, below rivals in Britain and Europe.

Banks are cutting jobs as bosses strive to improve profitability that has been hurt by tougher regulation.

HSBC (HSBA.L) said in June that it planned to shed 50,000 jobs and shrink its investment bank by a third to combat sluggish growth.

European rivals including RBS (RBS.L), UBS UBSG.VX and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) have axed thousands of jobs, but many are facing fresh calls for more radical cuts in investment banking.

Additional reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely

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