April 26, 2018 / 6:53 AM / a year ago

Barclays re-opens in Australia, two years after sharp pullback

HONG KONG, April 26 (Reuters) - Barclays Plc is to re-open in Australia just over two years since the UK-based bank surprised staff there by closing its operations as part of a region-wide retrenchment.

The bank on Thursday said the new office, in Sydney, would offer capital markets and advisory services to local clients and would be run by Paul Early and Richard Satchwell, two long-time Barclays bankers.

Early in 2016, the bank’s Asian operations bore the brunt of global cuts, including 1,200 job losses, under the then new leadership of chief executive Jes Staley. It also pulled out of South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Australia-based staff were particularly surprised at the time because of the bank’s perceived strength in that market, several sources at the bank said at the time.

Since then, Barclays has run its Asian operations, including servicing Australian clients, from Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Tim Throsby, chief executive of Barclays corporate and investment bank, described the new office as an important part of the firm’s growth strategy.

“We are committed to devoting financial resources and providing solutions to our Australian clients while supporting the growth and improvement of our global franchise,” he added.

It was not immediately clear how many staff would be employed at the new office.

Paul Early joined Barclays in Sydney in 2007 to lead its mining and metals coverage before moving to Hong Kong in 2012.

Richard Satchwell joined the bank in 2005 in London before moving to Sydney in 2007. He was most recently based in London as part of Barclay’s leveraged finance team. (Reporting by Jennifer Hughes)

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