The UK bank said today that the American arm of its investment banking division, Barclays Capital, had “started to reap the benefits of the Lehman acquisition” following a “successful integration”. The other regional divisions of Lehman Brothers, in Europe and Asia, were acquired by rival Nomura.
The acquisition had been announced on 16 September 2008, a day after Lehman entered bankruptcy protection and triggered panic in the financial markets.
As Barclays’ full year profits soared 92 percent to £11.6 billion – boosted by the £6 billion sale of its Barclays Global Investors fund management business – it drew attention to the “very strong year” at Barclays Capital, where profits of £2.46 billion were turned in.
The Lehman integration brought a “transformation in the scale and service offering in the US” arm of Barclays Capital, the bank said. It helped the share trading business of Barclays Capital grow 147 percent worldwide, to £2.8 billion worth of revenue.
Nevertheless, costs of integration and running the new operation contributed to a 75 percent increase in Barclays Capital’s operating expenditure, which hit £6.6 billion. Barclays took on 7,000 employees from the company.
Lehman Brothers, whose European operations are now owned by Japanese bank Nomura, invested heavily in technology. In 2007, its IT costs rose 18 percent year-on-year to reach $1.1 billion (£732 million), reflecting increased expense from the continued expansion of its investment management platforms.
It had also been heavily involved in a number of technology-related projects in the City of London. These included its joint venture with the London Stock Exchange, a dark pool platform called Baikal.
In other Barclays news, the bank last month decided not to renew a £400 million, six-year application development deal with supplier Accenture, for "commercial reasons". It also ended a desktop services contract with Getronics. It declined to give details.
The bank has been extensively cutting IT staff. Last May it emerged Barclays would cut 700 IT staff by the end of the year, reportedly offshoring work to Singapore, Hungary and India.