All brightness and gloss as new broom tries to sweep away past

It was the AJ show as Barclays' new chief executive outlined his master plan. Antony Jenkins wants to show the world it is still better off with the big bank, despite recent events suggesting otherwise.

Mr Jenkins is certainly fluent in finance, particularly when compared to his predecessor Bob Diamond, for whom detail wasn't always a strong point. The new man at the top has conducted a review of 75 business lines for their potential returns. He has also looked at the potential risks they pose to Barclays' battered reputation.

With promises to reshape the company and provide more for the shareholders that own the business, it seems AJ has quietly conquered the City's world – at least if the soaring share price is anything to go by.

But has he quietly conquered the world of Barclays? It's our business to know its business, and it remains a rough place, as the reports of Wall Street investment bankers sneering at Mr Jenkins' new broom have demonstrated. But he is not taking Barclays out of Wall Street, at least not yet. The investment bank remains a core part of the business. But will he take some of Wall Street out of Barclays?

Cynics noted that Mr Jenkins repeatedly failed to give his unequivocal backing to Rich Ricci, the head of that investment bank and one of the last reminders of the ancien régime. "I'm confident in my team," he said, but he added: "I can't predict the future."

There was certainly a conscious attempt to break with that regime in the way Barclays handled the presentation, hiring the Royal Horticultural Hall in Westminster rather than using the conferencing suite at Barclays' Canary Wharf HQ.

The hall was decked out in the blue and white corporate colour scheme, and so was Mr Jenkins, right down to his Barclays blue tie. The living embodiment of the new bank? Now there's a thought. Huge plaques were emblazoned with his five core values of integrity, respect, excellence, service and stewardship.

It was bright, it was glossy, and it was rather American. Mr Jenkins spoke from a lectern atop a dais (in Barclays blue and white of course) before walking to the edge to answer questions.

That was quite a stark contrast to Mr Diamond, who often preferred to glower at the press corps from behind a desk, flanked by his lieutenants.

Wrapping up, Mr Jenkins said: "These are not just words. This is not just window-dressing, or PR."

If he proves this, maybe people will start to feel they're better off talking to Barclays – AJ's go-to bank – again.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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

Guru Careers: Stockbroker

£Basic (OTE) + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Stockbroker (qualified / p...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Adviser

£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Guru Careers: Application Support Analyst / 1st Line Support

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence