Barclays

  • 01 Nov 2013 at 5:16 PM

Suspension Watch ’13: Barclays, UBS

A whole bunch of currency traders have been asked to take 5. Read more »

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 »

How Does Barclays Defaulteth? Let Us Count The Ways

In the case of its 2005 derivative agreement with hedge fund Black Diamond Capital Management, it defaulteth in two ways. Read more »

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 »

Back in May, Barclays named longtime Lehaman Brothers-turned-Barclays employee Hugh “Skip” McGee III Chief Executive Officer of Barclays Americas. Following last summer’s revelations that the bank had been engaging in interest rate manipulation, the resignations of chairman Marcus Agius, CEO Bob Diamond, and COO Jerry del Missier, and the general tarnishing of the Barclays name, the appointment came with the obvious mandate to “improve relations with U.S. regulators,” at a time when the Fed is “preparing to make foreign banks meet higher capital standards” and BARC is writing checks for $488 million to settle charges of energy market manipulation. This, Bloomberg writes today in a profile of HSM3, makes him “a noteworthy choice” as peacemaker. Colleagues “don’t expect contrition or retreat” from the banker (he’s already told the Fed its proposed rules are “not sufficiently nuanced,” “inappropriate,” and “unnecessary”) and, if anything, think he’ll be “an advocate for robust pay and freer capital.”

How do these people know they can count on McGee to 1) get them paid, optics be damned and 2) not roll over and take it from U.S. regulators in an attempt to prove that Barclays is a changed bank? Ol’ Skippy secured their votes four years ago, when he penned his opus to his kid’s school, a sagging institution employing a “gay female coach” and even worse, a history teacher with the audacity to say “hurtful things about bankers” in the presence of his child, not to mention, “humiliating” a group of boys by refusing to allow them to dress in drag for a pep rally (“The Incident”), all clear indications of the fact that the place was going to hell in a handbag. Read more »