British bank Barclays said it would axe up to 12,000 jobs this year even as it raised bonuses for investment bankers. As part of its efforts to cut costs, the bank said up to 9% of employees could go, including 7,000 in Britain, where half of the affected staff had already been notified. The cuts are not concentrated in any single business area. The bank said it paid 2.4 billion pounds in incentive awards last year after raising bonuses at the investment bank by 13% despite a slump in profits from the business.The average bonus across the investment bank’s 26,200 staff was 60,100 pounds. Barclays chief executive Anthony Jenkins defended the bigger bonus pot, saying the bank had to recruit the best staff to compete with global rivals and continued to have ‘constructive’ talks with investors over pay. Meanwhile, the bank posted a widening loss for the fourth quarter – because of a slowdown at its investment-banking unit and a series of legal issues – and added a disclosure to its annual financial results that highlights risks concerning the bank’s potential legal woes in the U.S. The net loss widened to £642 million ($1.05 billion), from a £589 million net loss a year earlier.