Barclays CEO determined to change bank's culture

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Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins stood by ATMs.
Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins took over from Bob Diamond. Photo: VisMedia

I've just been talking to Antony Jenkins, the new(ish) boss of Barclays.

He says he is determined to change the culture of the bank. And certainly the venue of the bank's "strategic review" event looks different to a typical City location. It's in a grand building in Westminster, set out with a white backdrop. As one source said, "We couldn't have him standing where Bob Diamond stood".

In Jenkins' words, "We cannot change the past, it is about moving forward and building the future".

The tricky thing for him is that he is trying to sell a message of change although he is not a new broom. He was in a very senior role at Barclays when things went so badly wrong. And he told me this morning it would be "naive" to guarantee that, after Libor, payment protection insurance (PPI), swaps and the rest, no other nasties will emerge.

Jenkins has already apologised for his role in PPI. But the jury is very much out over how much of his mission to make everyone in the bank behave properly will be achieved.

Yes, in terms of this year's results, bankers' pay is down, a bit, the bonus pool this year will be £1.85 billion. The proportion of pay to income of the bank has come down from 42 percent to 38 percent. He says that "variable pay" will continue to shrink.

The investment bank itself will shrink with nearly 2,000 bankers losing their jobs - 1,900 from the retail bank (those jobs will not be in the UK). Yes, he has told staff who don't want to stick to the new "values" that they should leave.

But that alone will not rehabilitate the Barclays brand. This is the start of a very long process.

Jenkins guaranteed that free banking will remain - many senior bankers believe that is not realistic any more, including the chair of Barclays.

He also said that Barclays will continue to have an investment bank, some had suggested that he might seek to get rid of it altogether rather than just shrinking it.