Barclays fires chief exec saying ‘new skills required’

Barclays fires chief exec saying ‘new skills required’

Antony Jenkins has been pushed out as chief executive of Barclays and John McFarlane has been named executive chairman, pending the appointment of a new chief executive.

In a stock exchange announcement today (8 July), the non-executive directors of Barclays led by Sir Michael Rake, deputy chairman and senior independent director, concluded new leadership is required to accelerate the pace of execution going forward.

According to Sir Michael, the changes at the top of Barclays does not signal any major change in strategy. “I reflected long and hard on the issue of group leadership and discussed this with each of the non-executive directors.

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“Notwithstanding Antony’s significant achievements, it became clear to all of us that a new set of skills were required for the period ahead. This does not take away from our appreciation of Antony’s contribution at a critical time for the company.”

Subject to regulatory approval, the change will come fully into effect on 17 July, when Mr McFarlane retires from his current position at FirstGroup.

Mr McFarlane said it was “unfortunate” he has had little time to work with Mr Jenkins. Reflecting on the task ahead, he said that the bank needs to improve revenue, costs and capital performance.

“We also need to become more externally focused and deal with the internal bureaucracy by becoming leaner and more agile.”

Mr Jenkins stated that in the summer of 2012, he group chief executive at a “particularly difficult” time for Barclays. “It is easy to forget just how bad things were three years ago, both for our industry and even more so for us. I am very proud of the significant progress we have made since then.

“Our capital position is much stronger, our business model is more balanced, we are much more disciplined on cost management, we have made good progress in rebuilding our reputation and we are seen as a leader in the application of technology to our business.

Mr Jenkins’ exit comes after the Financial Conduct Authority slapped a record UK regulatory fine of £284m on Barclays Bank in May for ‘failing to control business practices’ in relation to the manipulation of foreign exchange markets.

It was the largest financial penalty ever imposed by the FCA, or its predecessor the Financial Services Authority.