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Barclays Cutting 19,000 Jobs in Major Trim of Investment Banking Ambitions

The British bank is scaling back on its ambitions to join the ranks of Wall Street's biggest investment banks.

Barclays will cut 19,000 jobs over the next three years as part of an anticipated new slim-down strategy announced Thursday, two days after the British bank said profits fell more than expected.

The bank is largely returning its focus to its retail operations, cutting 7,000 jobs in its poorly performing investment banking division alone, according to the report released by Chief Executive Antony Jenkins.

Barclays said Tuesday that first-quarter profit fell 5% from a year earlier, with profit in the investment banking division falling 28%. Its retail banking operations saw profits rise 7%.

“This is a bold simplification of Barclays,” Jenkins said in a statement. “We will be a focused international bank, operating only in areas where we have capability, scale and competitive advantage.”

The beleaguered bank, which began boosting its investment banking operations in 2008 when it acquired Lehman Brothers’s U.S. operations, has recently lost some of its top executives and faced criticism from shareholders and politicians alike for its high bonuses.

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