Ex-lawyer Anthony Salz to head Barclays inquiry


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The Independent Online

A top lawyer-turned-investment banker is to lead a far-reaching review into the culture at Barclays in the wake of the rate-rigging scandal, the embattled banking giant announced today.

Anthony Salz, a former corporate lawyer who now sits as executive vice chairman at financial advisory group Rothschild, said the Libor-fixing affair gave Barclays the opportunity to "drive a change in its values and practices".

Barclays announced plans to launch an independent review into its business practices after its was fined £290 million by UK and US regulators for manipulating Libor, the interbank lending rate that affects mortgages and loans.

The scandal ultimately led to the resignation of chief executive Bob Diamond and sparked a fierce debate in Westminster over ethics in the banking industry.

Barclays has suffered one of the most turbulent periods in its history as the rate-rigging scandal unfolded, claiming the scalps of chief operating officer Jerry del Missier and chairman Marcus Agius, who will resign once Mr Diamond's successor is found.

Mr Salz's review will assess the bank's current values and determine to what extent those need to change, test decision-making processes and determine whether further training is required.

The review's findings and recommendations will be published and will be based on evidence gathered from the bank's stakeholders.

Mr Salz said: "I very much hope that this review will significantly assist Barclays in rebuilding trust and reaffirming its position as one of our leading institutions."

Before taking up his position at Rothschild, Mr Salz had a 30-year career in the legal field, working his way up to senior partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

The Devon-born graduate of Exeter University started his career at the law firm Kenneth Brown Baker Baker before joining Freshfields. Some of the deals he has overseen include the mergers of SmithKline and Beecham and Reed International with Elsevier.

Mr Salz also took on the role of vice chairman on the BBC board of governors between 2004 and 2006.

Sir Michael Rake, Barclays deputy chairman, said: "Anthony Salz is the ideal individual to lead this review given his standing and experience. He has the full support of the Barclays' board, and we will ensure that he has whatever resources necessary at his disposal to make it thorough and far-reaching.

"We expect this work to contribute significantly to the broader change that we intend to bring about to the way in which Barclays operates."