Former Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins was "surprised" at being sacked

Lynsey Barber
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Antony Jenkins has spoken about his sacking for the first time (Source: Getty)

Former Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins has spoken of his surprise at being sacked from one of banking's top jobs this summer - but admitted "these things happen"

The "nice guy of banking" has spoken publicly for the first time about the event in which the bank's new chairman, John "Mack the Knife" McFarlane, said a new style was needed to lead the bank.

"Well, I'm a human being, so I have to say it was surprising to me, but I completely respect the authority of the board in choosing the chief executive. And I'm realistic. I've been in corporate life for over 30 years. These things happen," he told the BBC's Radio 4 Business Show.

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The bank was performing very well. After three years of incredibly hard work, we had real momentum and you could see that in the results: statutory profits were up 25 per cent; our capital position had improved immeasurably; we'd actually achieved our 2016 targets 18 months earlier; costs were under control; the culture was changing and reputation was improving; we'd built a leadership position in technology and that was paying dividends for us.

Barclays still faces a struggle for profitability and must soon address new ring-fencing rules which will change the way its retail and investment operations structure. It named Jes Stanley as a successor - and the man to make that happen - in October.

Jenkins said he was proud of his achievements over the last three years, adding that the bank was now "in much better shape".

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