Former Barclays boss Bob Diamond and other past executives at the British bank are set to be called as witnesses next year in a court case relating to the alleged manipulation of Libor interest rates. Barclays is being sued for up to 70 million pounds ($114 million) by Guardian Care Homes, a UK residential care home operator, which alleges the bank mis-sold it interest rate hedging products that were based on Libor…A UK judge on Friday refused Barclays’ attempts to adjourn the trial, which is due to start in April. [Reuters]
A whole bunch of currency traders have been asked to take 5. Read more »
Attention London-Based Financial Services Employees: The Season For F*cking Up With No Repercussions Is Nearly Upon UsBy Bess Levin
Been thinking about TP’ing your CEO’s house? Or placing a massive trade that, let’s be honest, probably won’t work out and will ultimately cost the firm billions? Or taking the keys to your boss’s vintage Ferrari and driving some colleagues uptown for a joy ride, and when confronted about, claim you thought the office had a “what’s mine is yours” policy? Or dressing up as his wife for Halloween? Thanks to a new compensation plan being considered by London bank, now you can? Read more »
Nine months ago, Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins brought in former Financial Services Authority chief Hector Sants to do something about the bank’s less-than-sterling reputation. But Hector Sants could not go back in time and keep Barclays from committing the mistake he knew it was making, and so, nine months in, he needs a good, long break. Read more »
Investigative Piece On New Barclays Dress Code Strikes CNBC As Good A Time As Any To Ask Spokewoman What She’s WearingBy Bess Levin
The bank has recently put in place a policy of super-casual Fridays. Jeans, T-shirts, and even sneakers are acceptable on Fridays, according to people who work for the bank (and spoke on the condition of anonymity because banks keep everything top secret, even stuff like the rules of permissible footwear). The idea, apparently, is to make Barclays a better, cooler place to work. It’s one of a number of initiatives the company is taking to make employees enjoy their workplace more…A spokesperson for Barclays declined to comment about the policy or about what she was wearing as CNBC.com spoke to her. [CNBC]
Bob Diamond, who was ousted last year as the boss of British bank Barclays Plc, said it has grown stronger since he left and he plans to buy shares in its 6 billion-pound ($9.6 billion) rights issue. “I’m buying my rights, I’m bullish on Barclays … Barclays has become a better and stronger institution,” Diamond said on CNBC television on Friday. “It’s got good strong new leadership in (Chief Executive) Antony Jenkins and (Chairman) Sir David Walker.” [Reuters]
Barclays today announced a fancy new capital plan that illustrates the subtle cultural differences between US and UK banking. When U.S. regulators want banks to raise more capital, they tell them to do it by 2018, and the banks spend the intervening five years whining about it. When UK regulators want Barclays to raise more capital, they tell them to do it by June 2014, and Barclays goes out and announces a rights offering pronto. A rights offering! That preferred European way of raising capital has a pleasing symbolism; it’s like, okay you equity holders, you let your management get into this mess, and you’re responsible for fixing it, so cough up some more cash or there’ll be consequences. Bail yourselves out.
The mess, in this case, is that newish leverage-ratio rules require European banks to have assets (measured under IFRS, plus some off-balance-sheet stuff) equal to no more than 33.3 times their capital, and Barclays is at a somewhat astounding-sounding 45.9x,1 so it either needs to chuck around a third of its assets or raise about a third again of its capital or some combination thereof.
They elected combination thereof, to wit: Read more »