Major powers for Salz inquiry into Barclays

Tim Wallace
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TOP LAWYER Anthony Salz will have free rein to speak to staff and examine company documents in his inquiry aimed at cleaning up Barclays’ culture in the wake of the Libor scandal, the bank revealed yesterday.

The former Freshfields senior partner has roughly nine months to investigate what went wrong at the bank and to come up with a new code of conduct, which Barclays’ board intends to accept and implement.

Pay and bonuses are expected to be more closely linked to good behaviour too, the bank explained.

Salz will report to a committee of non-executive directors, made up of David Booth, Alison Carnwath and Sir John Sutherland, and headed by deputy chairman Sir Michael Rake – rather than former chair Marcus Agius or chief executive Bob Diamond, who were forced out over the scandal.

He has been tasked with explaining the key values and beliefs that Barclays expects its staff to hold and follow, and ensure the structures are in place to maintain that behaviour.

The measures are likely to include ensuring “policy and rewards are aligned with those values”, as well as making sure bosses at the bank set a good example to other staff.

Salz will be given a team from a professional services firm to help in his investigation, and will make his work public next spring, shortly before Barclays’ annual general meeting.

“We will ensure that he has whatever resources necessary at his disposal to make it thorough and far-reaching,” promised Rake.

“We expect this work to contribute significantly to the broader change that we intend to bring about to the way in which Barclays operates.”