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By Reuters

Barclays said on Wednesday it was launching an internship program in New York targeting people who had taken a career break from the finance industry, the latest move by a big bank to emphasize its focus on work-life balance.

In a profession known for its rigorous schedules, banks competing fiercely for talent around the world are trying to lighten workloads and lower stress levels, especially among junior bankers.

Barclays' 10-week program requires a minimum one-year career break for "personal responsibilities."

UBS told investment bankers this month to take at least two hours of "personal time," aiming to give them more flexible hours.

Read More: The Interns Are Getting Younger, as High Schoolers Hit the Workplace

In November, Goldman Sachs made changes designed to retain junior bankers, including promoting them more quickly and encouraging mobility.

Reuters reported in February that Credit Suisse was establishing a fast-track program for top-performing juniors.