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Scandal-hit Barclays bank cuts jobs, raises bonuses

LONDON -- Barclays will axe thousands of jobs and raise bonuses for its investment bankers this year, the under-fire British lender announced on Tuesday after posting a return to annual profits.

Chief executive Antony Jenkins, who has himself declined a huge bonus as Barclays is probed along with other banks over possible manipulation of foreign exchange trading, said that between 10,000 and 12,000 jobs would go worldwide this year.

Jenkins told a conference call with media that about 7,000 jobs would go in Britain, out of a global workforce of about 139,000.

Barclays, which is seeking to repair a reputation badly damaged by its role in the Libor interest rate-rigging scandal of 2012, increased the money available for staff bonuses by almost 10 percent to 2.378 billion pounds (US$3.907 billion).

While net profits rose, the investment bank unit reported a loss in the fourth quarter, while pre-tax earnings slumped as Barclays factored in restructuring costs and litigation charges.

Along with other British lenders, Barclays has been hit by massive compensation payouts to customers who were mis-sold insurance policies.

“Despite challenging conditions, our underlying performance has been resilient and momentum is building, as evidenced by the results,” Jenkins said in comments accompanying the results.

Defending its bonus payouts, the bank said it was being competitive in “ensuring that Barclays has the right people in the right roles.”

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