Barclays

Here you can read an independent review of how Barclays lost its way and I submit to you that the fundamental problem was grammar:

In 2005, John Varley launched the Group’s five Guiding Principles – ‘customer focus’, ‘winning together’, ‘best people’, ‘pioneering’ and ‘trusted’ – demonstrating intent to oversee the Group through one set of values. (Section 8.14)

Are your five Guiding Principles nouns or adjectives?1 None can say. Even 30 Rock’s six sigmas were more grammatically consistent. If your five guiding principles are clearly just some mismatched words that someone wrote down and never edited, and that no one could actually use in a sentence, then: they’re not guiding anyone.2

And they didn’t. The lack of a shared understanding of values across Barclays spawned this chart, which might be my favorite thing ever:

Other than that though the report is kind of boring.3 Read more »

£100 million bank boss Rich Ricci has been accused of being ‘out of touch’ after entering race horse Fatcatinthehat into the Cheltenham Festival. The Barclays investment banker, who always wears his signature trilby while racing, cashed in £9.7 million of shares bonuses last year, earned £44 million of pay and perks in 2010 and is set to pocket up to £6 million in deferred shares bonuses this year. Labour have accused the 49-year-old of being ‘out of touch’ with the plight of ordinary, hardworking people after choosing such an insensitive name. Labour MP John Mann said: ‘It’s an insult to every taxpayer and small business in the country. And it shows just how out of touch these bankers are.’ [...] Ricci and his wife of 12 years Susannah, 49, have reared 30 horses with champion trainer Willie Mullins, winning £588,125 in prize money this season alone. They have entered a total of eleven horses to the meeting which starts tomorrow. He is famous for his trademark trilby and extroverted choice of tailoring when he appears at the races. Fat cat in the hat won his last race and is 12-1 third favourite to win Wednesday’s Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle for a £75,000 prize. [DM]

  • 07 Mar 2013 at 5:38 PM

Layoffs Watch ’13: Barclays

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 »

Barclays Tells Hedge Funds It Can’t Be Seen With Them

Barclays’ PR-driven makeover continues, even at the expense of being a full-service investment bank. Read more »

Why would you go to Barclays for investment banking services? Like, here is what you know about Barclays:

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 »

  • 11 Feb 2013 at 3:25 PM

Barclays Just Wants You to Love It Again, OK?

Please?

After spending his first six months on the job speaking about cultural change at scandal-plagued Barclays PLC, Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins on Tuesday will unveil a plan that is expected to leave the bank’s strategy largely intact, according to people briefed on the matter.

But wait! Barclays can change in all the ways that it thinks matter to you and the British government, if not to its shareholders. Read more »

If you like delayed gratification you’ll love the payment plan management has come up with. Read more »