Future uncertain for Barclays branches in Hartlepool, Peterlee and Billingham

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THE future of three local Barclays branches remains unclear after the bank announced it will cut a total of 19,000 jobs in the next two years.

Around half of those jobs will be axed in the UK with around 7,000 being cut from the investment banking division as top bosses look to reposition, simplify and rebalance the business.

Yesterday’s announcement came just two days after Barclays announced that first quarter earnings from the division fell by half, meaning profits at the group slid by five per cent. Barclays currently has a branch in Hartlepool, in York Road, one in Peterlee, in Cook Way, on the North West Industrial Estate, and another in Billingham, in Queensway.

In a statement released yesterday, Barclays made no announcement of any retail branch bank closures. A spokeswoman told the Mail no decision has been made on any closures of branches throughout the UK.

Barclays chief executive officer Antony Jenkins said: “This is a bold simplification of Barclays.

“We will be a focused international bank, operating only in areas where we have capability, scale and competitive advantage. In the future, Barclays will be leaner, stronger, much better balanced and well positioned to deliver lower volatility, higher returns and growth.

“My goal is unchanged; to create a Barclays that does business in the right way, with the right values, and delivers the returns that our shareholders deserve.

“However, the way in which we will achieve this is different.”

The changes will dramatically shrink the importance of the investment bank, which currently accounts for more than half of Barclays’ size, to no more than 30 per cent by 2016. This division employed around 26,200 staff – around 10,000 in the UK – at the end of last year, but this had already shrunk to about 24,000 by the start of 2014. The strategy review will also see Barclays set up a so-called “bad bank” comprising £115bn of “non-core” assets.