ING axe falls on Barings chiefs

BY

The long-awaited bloodbath among senior executives at Barings occurs today.

ING, the new Dutch owners, are expected to announced the departure of some 20 people from Barings' offices in London, Singapore and Tokyo, deemed to have been responsible for the failure of controls that let Nick Leeson break the bank with his ruinous derivative speculation.

ING hopes most of the executives will do the honourable thing and resign, following the example of Peter Baring and Andrew Tuckey, the former chairman and chief executive, who left in early April. "For the sake of the business and our clients, we have to be able to say anyone with responsibility for the Far Eastern disaster has gone," said a source close to ING.

The dismissals have been discussed with the Bank of England, which is conducting a semi-judicial investigation into the events leading up to the collapse of Barings in late February under nearly £900m of losses. Sources said the departures were no indicator of involvement in the fraud of which Nick Leeson stands accused, but rather a general cleansing of all those with responsibility for the Singapore trader's operations.

The most prominent victim is expected to be Peter Norris, 40, former head of Barings Securities, who was pointedly given only an advisory role in the new management structure.

Ronald Baker was Nick Leeson's direct boss in London, as head of Barings' financial products group. He was recruited from Bankers Trust for his expertise in derivatives trading. One of his deputies, Mary Walz, responsible for the South-East Asia region, has also not been actively involved in Barings' management since March.

Some members of Barings' central risk control body have already been sidelined, including Tony Hawes, former group treasurer; Ian Hopkins, previously head of group risk control; and Geoffrey Broadhurst, who was finance director of Barings Securities before the crash.

Senior managers of Barings' Singapore operations, where Nick Leeson worked, are also expected to go. They include James Bax, the former managing director - whose passport was seized by the authorities in Singapore - and his deputy, Simon Jones.

Question marks hang over the fate of two more top Barings executives: George Maclean, head of banking since 1986, and Geoffrey Barnett, the chief administration man. A key survivor is Richard Katz, head of equity trading at Barings Securities.

Resignations and dismissal may not spell the end of the problems for some of those involved. Individuals found to have been grossly incompetent by the Bank of England enquiry (which should be completed by late May or early June) may be banned from working in the City.

ING insiders said the sackings were essential to restore confidence in Barings Securities, which has been under pressure from big clients in the US and Britain not bringing new business until the situation is clarified. Barings corporate finance and asset management operations, by contrast, are said to have emerged well from the traumas, and have been winning new mandates.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Guru Careers: In-House / Internal Recruiter

£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...

Recruitment Genius: Tax Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project