Nick Goodway: Barclays boss must try to argue that investment banking is good for us

Outlook: Antony Jenkins has started to look more and more like his predecessors... he is Barclays through and through

For once Barclays could have done without the headline that proclaimed it the top bank in terms of UK investment banking revenues in 2012. But that's where Dealogic put it, with revenues of $297m (£184m), leapfrogging it from third to first place ahead of the likes of JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Morgan Stanley. Barclays also enjoyed its biggest slice of the investment bank wallet, at 9.4 per cent – its highest ever share.

The news comes as a poll of MPs showed that more than two-thirds of them think that investment banking and high street banking should be separated by much more than the ringfence proposed in the Banking Reform Bill.

Indeed, the Ipsos Mori poll suggests that many MPs want to go further than the "electrified" ringfence proposed by the MP Andrew Tyrie, who heads the Commission on Banking Standards, which reported last week.

Pressure is building on the Chancellor, George Osborne, to make it clear at least that his ringfence will be topped with razor wire and be impenetrable to even the hardest of bankers.

For as Mr Tyrie warned: "Over time the ringfence will be tested and challenged by the banks. For the ringfence to succeed banks need to be discouraged from gaming the rules. All history tells us they will do this unless incentivised not to."

There can be little doubt that Nick Clegg and Vince Cable will do everything they can to try to force the Government to revisit the Vickers' Independent Banking Commission, which drew back from recommending full separation of retail and investment banks à la Glass-Steagall following intensive lobbying by those self-same banks. Messrs Clegg and Cable know that this is one area where there is actually greater support for more radical action among Tory MPs than there is among Labour. Certainly Tories in marginal seats have already worked out that banker bashing is still a vote winner, whatever the banking industry might have hoped.

Which brings us back to Barclays. 2012 was pretty much its annus horribilis. It was first out of the traps with a then record £290m of fines over Libor fixing. It upped its bill for mis-selling payment protection insurance by £700m to £2bn. It is facing another £291m potential fine for allegedly rigging the Californian electricity market, which it says it will fight all the way.

And along the way it lost its chief executive, Bob Diamond, its chairman, Marcus Agius, and its chief operating officer, Jerry del Missier. Surely no coincidence that all three men came solidly from investment banking backgrounds.

Antony Jenkins' appointment as chief executive was widely welcomed. The man who ran global retail banking for Barclays would show those casino bankers which way was up. He could take a high moral ground, particularly if it was conveniently forgotten that he was actually in the driving seat of the high street part of the bank while it was happily selling PPI to people who did not need it and could never claim on it.

But in the four months he has been in situ and with two months to go until he discloses his master plan for repairing Barclays' image, Mr Jenkins has started to look more and more like his predecessors. He is Barclays through and through. He believes strongly in a universal bank which should be able to offer clients services from either side of the ringfence. He has told shareholders who pointed out how strongly rival UBS's share price reacted when it said it was cutting back on investment banking that he has no intention of giving away the BarCap franchise.

Now his task will be to convince the lawmakers and the public that Barclays being number one in investment banking is not just good for the bank and its shareholders but also for UK plc. That will be a tough one to sell.

Struggling shops need a break on business rates

One in nine shops on our high streets is now empty, according to the latest data from the British Retail Consortium. In some areas it is even worse than that, with one in five shops in Northern Ireland empty, 15.1 per cent empty in Wales, and 14.6 per cent in the North and Yorkshire.

By linking increases in business rates to the retail prices index the Treasury has added a cool £500m to shopkeepers' bills over the last two financial years. Once again, based on September's RPI of 2.6 per cent, retailers face another £200m more on their rates bill this coming year. That extra money can come from only three places. Customers – who are already suffering the pinch. Profits – at a time when investors are jumpy enough about retailers. Wages – which in reality would mean cutting jobs, not pay packets.

Freezing business rates on shops for at least this year could potentially do far more good than any tinkering by Mary Portas, and certainly more than the £200m into the Treasury coffers it will achieve.

Life and Style
life
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
News
Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
people81-year-old 'stopped breathing' during vocal chord surgery
Life and Style
Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
health
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
motoringOne in six drivers can't carry out basic under-bonnet checks
News
news
Environment
Fungi pose the biggest threat globally and in the UK, where they threaten the country’s wheat and potato harvests
environmentCrop pests are 'grave threat to global food security'
News
i100
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Shady character: Jon Hamm as sports agent JB Bernstein in Million Dollar Arm
filmReview: Jon Hamm finally finds the right role on the big screen in Million Dollar Arm
News
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
people
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Sport
footballAnd Liverpool are happy despite drawing European champions
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Head of Marketing (Online & Offline, Media, Digital, Strategy)

£85000 - £100000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing - Slough, Berkshi...

Database Developer (SSIS, TSQL, Microsoft SQL) London Finance

£35000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global global asset management ...

Web Developer/UI Developer (HTML5, CSS3,Jquery) London

£55000 - £65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...

JavaScript Developer (C++ / C# / HTML, Java Angular.js) London

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A world leading business intellig...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone