30 Aug 2012 08:30am

Barclays appoints new chief amid fresh scandal

Barclays has appointed Antony Jenkins as chief executive of the bank, to replace Bob Diamond who left amid the scandal of rate-fixing at the bank

Jenkins, who promised to “restore Barclays reputation”, was appointed just as the Serious Fraud Office announced it was to launch an investigation into payments made in 2008, after the bank received £2bn in emergency funds from Qatar Holding.

The SFO’s inquiry relates to the disclosure of fees paid to the sovereign investor, but neither Barclays or the SFO released further details of the investigation.

It is the latest in a string of bad headlines at the bank. Diamond and former chairman Marcus Agius were left Barclays after it was fined a record amount by the Financial Services Authority and international regulators for manipulating the interbank lending rates

Jenkins, 51, was formerly head of retail and business banking at Barclays, and will be seen as a “safer” appointment to steer the bank into more settled time. He has worked at Barclays for nearly 30 years, and his new pay package could be worth up to £8.25m

Sir David Walker, Barclays' chairman-elect, said, "The field of shortlisted candidates that I met was very strong, and it was clear that Antony was the outstanding choice. His track record, familiarity with the group and vision for the future are all highly compelling. I look forward to working with him closely to make that vision a reality."

Jenkins added, "I am very proud to have been asked to lead Barclays, where I began my career nearly 30 years ago. Barclays is a strong universal bank, with many assets, including market leading businesses; talented and engaged staff; and long-standing clients and customers. But we have made serious mistakes in recent years and clearly failed to keep pace with our stakeholders' expectations.

"We have an obligation to all of those stakeholders - customers, clients, shareholders, colleagues and broader society - and a unique opportunity to restore Barclays reputation by making it the 'go to' bank in all of our chosen markets. That journey will take time, we have much to do, and I look forward to getting started immediately."


Helen Roxburgh