08 Mar '11, 9am

Barclays to close 100 branches in Spain

Barclays to close 100 branches in Spain

MADRID: British bank Barclays will close more than 100 branches and lay off 700 staff in Spain to cut costs and stem losses, the financial daily Expansion said Tuesday. The cuts, amounting to 17 per cent of the staff and almost 20 per cent of the branch network, would be announced this week as part of a global plan to reduce costs and open up new markets, it said. Barclays officials in London and Madrid declined to comment. The decision coincided with the arrival one month ago of a new head of Barclays' retail banking business in Spain, Jaime Echegoyen, who was formerly the chief executive of Bankinter, it said. Barclays wanted to re-focus its business in Spain on medium- and high-earning customers. The 2008 collapse of the Spanish property bubble hit Barclays bank hard, leaving it exposed to bad loans. It was forced to make provisions of 900 million pounds (1.062 billion ...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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Up close and personal with the Merlion

Up close and personal with the Merlion

channelnewsasia.com 26 Feb '11, 10am

SINGAPORE: For the first time in nearly 40 years, the Merlion will spend about two months in a five-star hotel room, start...