Barclays sacks chief exec for not cutting fast enough

8th July 2015


Barclays has sacked its chief executive Antony Jenkins over a disagreement with the board on the speed of cost cutting at the bank.

It also announced the appointment of John McFarlane as executive chairman pending the appointment of a new chief executive.

The non-executive directors led by Sir Michael Rake, deputy chairman decided that new leadership was required in order to accelerate the pace of cuts.

The bank said “this development does not signal any major change in strategy”.

Subject to regulatory approval the change will come fully into effect on 17 July 2015 when McFarlane retires from FirstGroup.  A search for Mr Jenkins’ successor is underway.  The interim results will be announced as planned on 29 July 2015.

In a statement the board said it  “recognises the contribution made by Antony Jenkins as chief executive over the past three years in incredibly difficult circumstances for the group, and is extremely grateful to him in bringing the company to a much stronger position.

“The situation he inherited would have challenged anyone facing the same issues. This continued a period of achievement as head of Barclaycard and our Retail and Business Banking businesses.”

McFarlane will be working particularly closely with Tushar Morzaria, group finance director, the bank said.

Sir Michael Rake said: “I reflected long and hard on the issue of group leadership and discussed this with each of the non-executive directors.  Notwithstanding Antony’s significant achievements, it became clear to all of us that a new set of skills were required for the period ahead.  This does not take away from our appreciation of Antony’s contribution at a critical time for the company.”

McFarlane said: “Whilst it is unfortunate that I have had little time to work with Antony, I respect and endorse the position of the Board in deciding that a change in leadership is required at this time.  I would add my personal thanks for everything that Antony has done for us.  He can be proud of his heritage, especially his excellent work on culture and values that we will continue.  I wish him well.”

“Arriving at Barclays with a fresh perspective, it is evident that we have a standout brand with first-class retail, commercial and investment banking businesses.  Nevertheless, we are leaving value on the table and a new approach is required.  As a Group, if we aspire to bring shareholder returns forward, we need to be much more focused on what is attractive, what we are good at, and where we are good at it.”

“We therefore need to accelerate revenue, costs and capital performance.  We also need to become more externally focused and deal with the internal bureaucracy by becoming leaner and more agile.  I have experienced good results in dealing with these matters elsewhere,” he added.

Antony Jenkins said: “In the summer of 2012, I became group chief executive at a particularly difficult time for Barclays.  It is easy to forget just how bad things were three years ago both for our industry and even more so for us.  I am very proud of the significant progress we have made since then.

“Our capital position is much stronger, our business model is more balanced, we are much more disciplined on cost management, we have made good progress in rebuilding our reputation and we are seen as a leader in the application of technology to our business.  While the external environment has continued to be, and will remain, challenging the Group now has the resilience to overcome these challenges.

“Most of all, I am proud that we have defined our culture through a common set of values for the Group and that the progress we have made and the tough decisions we have needed to take have all been achieved by applying these values and by focusing on the needs of all our stakeholders.”

“I want to thank the people of Barclays for their tireless efforts and support in achieving these results and for my own part I am looking forward to the professional opportunities that lie ahead.”

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