Large steps back at Barclays

SIR ANDREW LARGE, the deputy chairman of Barclays Bank, yesterday became the latest casualty of the boardroom bust-up at the bank, which last week saw Martin Taylor quit as chief executive.

Barclays said that Sir Andrew, who clashed repeatedly with Taylor before he quit, is to give up his executive role to become non-executive deputy chairman from 1 January. Next year he will be at the bank one day a week instead of the four he works now, and his salary will be reduced accordingly.

Barclays yesterday denied that the decision to scale down Sir Andrew's role was prompted by the recent turmoil at the bank. "This has nothing to do with the departure of Martin last week, this has been in the works for two-and-a-half months," a spokesman said. The bank said there were no plans for any other boardroom changes at the moment.

In the City the decision to reduce Sir Andrew's role was welcomed, with analysts arguing that the way in which Mr Taylor's departure was handled raised serious questions about the way the bank was run.

Some had expressed surprise at the way the board appeared to have been top heavy with directors, who were executive in name only and having no clear area of responsibility were naturally drawn into areas where they had no obvious role.

Richard Coleman, banks analyst at Merrill Lynch, the investment bank "I think what is important is that these corporate governance issues that have emerged over the last few days are made clear before Barclays proceeds to appoint a new chief executive."

Sir Andrew , who joined Barclays from the Securities and Investments Board, had been criticised for seeking to second-guess Mr Taylor's decisions in a way which antagonised not just Mr Taylor but other board members as well.

Sir Andrew's hostility towards the former chief executive was said to have been a result of Mr Taylor blocking Sir Andrew's attempt to become chairman of Barclays Capital, Barclays investment banking operation. He had worked in the City at Swiss Bank Corporation prior to joining SIB.