New CEO Antony Jenkins has apparently been reading the Tarot cards on Barclays and what they’re telling him is the bank is about to have 40,000 fewer employees. Read more »
- It has spent the last few years comprehensively defrauding customers, manipulating interest rates, and making false disclosures about its financial situation, and
- Its new-ish CEO is working on a “review … to assess if the bank’s businesses are ethical and not just profitable.”
Hey that’s super. And definitely some of the people who were ripping off customers have been fired, so your odds are … improving?
In my more cynical moods I posit that there are three reasons to do business with a bank, corresponding to three relationships that you can have with the bank:
- Client: You trust them not to rip you off.
- Counterparty: You (think that you) are an eyes-open counterparty; they are trying to rip you off and you are trying to rip them off and you hope that you’re smart enough to survive.
- Co-conspirator: You’re working together to rip someone else off.
Most – not all – of what is scandalous in finance comes from one or both parties misunderstanding which relationship they’re in.1
The co-conspirator model is in some sense the most attractive for the bank. Read more »
Barclays CEO Promises To Clear Out His Desk In Hypothetical Scenario In Which Bank Decides To Start Engaging In Rampant Fraud AgainBy Bess Levin
Mr. Jenkins and the firm’s chairman, David Walker, told politicians on Tuesday that they were prioritizing ethics and reducing risky trading activity, adding that they would take responsibility if future problems were discovered at the bank. The Barclays’ chief, who agreed to forgo his bonus in response to the series of scandals that have hit Barclays in recent years, said he would resign if another scandal was uncovered while he was leading the bank. “The chief executive is responsible for what happens during their tenure and when incidents happen the price needs to be paid and I believe were I to find myself in that position I would do the right thing,” Mr. Jenkins said on Tuesday. When politicians asked Mr. Jenkins if he was eradicating the culture that he inherited from his predecessor Robert E. Diamond Jr., Barclays’ new chief said he was indeed “shredding that legacy” of sometimes being “too self-centered and too aggressive.” [Dealbook, related]
Barclays Chief Understands Not Everyone At The Bank Will Be Comfortable Complying With New Company Policy That Dictates They Follow The LawBy Bess Levin
Earlier today, Barclays chief Anthony Jenkins sent out a memo to employees informing them that moving forward, there’d be a new way of doing things ’round the bank. Namely, that whereas during his predecessor’s tenure, manipulating interest rates and engaging in other forms of criminal activity was acceptable, such things would no longer fly. And not in a “this sort of thing is now frowned upon” way but in a “you actually can’t do this anymore/if that presents a problem for you than clean out your desk and leave” way.
Aware that change can be very difficult, that it often causes great anxiety, and that many resist it entirely, Jenkins used 1,479 words to get his message across, acknowledging that not all employees will be willing to sign on board re: acting “fairly, ethically and honestly,” rather than simply writing: “Hey, we have a new policy called ‘not doing illegal shit.’ It’s a little unorthodox and it may not be for everyone, so please take some time to think it over.” Read more »
Breaking the speed limit in a school zone, for example, will cost you a couple mill, while volunteering with your local Boy Scouts chapter to help the troops earn their “Libor Manipulation” badges will translate to a few extra zeros on payday. Read more »
Antony Jenkins said he will outline his plans for Barclays in the first quarter of next year. “The challenges that confront investment banking as an industry are driven by regulatory change and the economic environment,” the new CEO said by telephone today. “It requires us to think strategically about the direction of investment banking.” The investment bank is led by Rich Ricci, a Diamond appointee. With increased regulation from Europe and the U.K., volatile market conditions for mergers and acquisitions and continuing criticism of bankers’ pay by politicians, Barclays has faced calls from analysts and shareholders to either sell the division or reduce its size. “The Barclays Capital decade and Bob Diamond will be confined to history,” said Simon Maughan, a financial industry strategist at Olivetree Securities in London. “What investors want to see is far more dramatic cost cutting, and the question is will Jenkins be enough of his own man to do it. It’s not Barclays’s style.” [Bloomberg]
Earlier today in London, Barclays announced some very exciting news- it “intends to generate additional revenue of as much as 6.4 billion pounds ($10.4 billion)” by 2013. Sounds great, right? Everyone else thought so too. Everyone except one analyst henceforth known as Debbie Downer, whose response suggested he’s of the belief you can’t just tell people your plan is to generate eleventy billion dollars of additional revenue by some random target date and have the market instantly absorb it as fact, propelling your stock to previously unseen heights. Read more »