Pressure on Barclays to reform

Tim Wallace
Follow Tim
INCOMING Barclays chairman Sir David Walker faces pressure from a committee of MPs and Lords to explain how he will clean up his bank’s damaged brand at a hearing next week, it was announced yesterday.

He will be the first person to face the new Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS), set up to investigate the culture of workers in the sector in the wake of a series of scandals, and will be headed by experienced Treasury Select Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie MP.

Meanwhile it emerged one of the Financial Services’ Authority’s (FSA) key priorities for the new leadership at the bank is to clean up its act in the wake of the Libor scandal.

New bank bosses must be approved by the FSA, which means they will have discussed the aims and priorities of the new chairman and chief executive before letting them take over.

Barclays’ outgoing chairman Marcus Agius and ex-chief executive Bob Diamond both resigned over the manipulation of the key interbank interest rate, as did chief operating officer Jerry del Missier.

New chief executive Antony Jenkins has pledged to ensure the bank reforms its attitude utterly – for example by complying with new regulations well ahead of official deadlines.

And an internal review led by top lawyer Anthony Salz is already working to advise Walker on the standards and principles within the bank, and how they can change – a new code of conduct is set to be drawn up by Spring 2013.

Barclays will not be the only bank investigated by the PCBS – many more banks have been implicated in the Libor scandal and have been involved in, for example, mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI).