UK bank Barclays names ex JP Morgan banker as new boss

28th October 2015, Comments 0 comments

Troubled British bank Barclays on Wednesday announced the appointment of former JP Morgan investment banker James Staley as its new chief executive.

The 58-year-old American will take up his new role on December 1, the bank announced in a statement, indicating a renewed focus on its investment division.

Staley, also known as Jes, declared that he would seek to "preserve and enhance" trust in the lender, whose reputation has been badly damaged by foreign exchange and Libor benchmark interest rate rigging scandals.

"In Jes Staley, we believe we have an executive with the appropriate leadership talent and wide-ranging experience to deliver shareholder value and to take the group forward strategically," said Barclays chairman John McFarlane.

"In particular, he understands corporate and investment banking well, the re-positioning of which is one of our major priorities," McFarlane said.

Staley, whose appointment had been widely predicted in the media this month, is the former chief executive of JP Morgan's investment bank and currently works for US hedge fund Blue Mountain Capital Management.

Barclays announced in July that it had fired its then-chief executive Antony Jenkins in the wake of recent scandals.

Jenkins replaced Bob Diamond in July 2012 -- who himself was forced to resign after the Libor rate-fixing scandal.

The retail banking veteran had vowed to bring a new culture of decency to Barclays, and oversaw drastic restructuring that shrank its investment bank, a move that reportedly upset major shareholders.

Staley said Wednesday: "We will be committed to preserving and enhancing the trust that is the foundation of Barclays' reputation.

"Stability and long-term orientation are cornerstones for this great institution. We must recognise Barclays' special obligation to those principles."

Barclays is in the middle of a three-year plan to cut 19,000 jobs, including 7,000 in the investment bank, and it still faces potential legal suits.

In May, Barclays was hit with a $2.4-billion (2.2-billion-euro) fine by US and British regulators for manipulation of foreign exchange trading. Five other global banks have been fined over the affair.

Back in 2012, the bank was fined £290 million (401 million euros) by British and US regulators for attempted manipulation of Libor and Euribor interbank rates between 2005 and 2009.


© 2015 AFP

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