Barclays finance director Chris Lucas is leaving the bank at the end of this week, six months earlier than planned, because of his deteriorating health.
His departure comes as Barclays prepares to launch a £6 billion rights issue next month under orders from the banking regulator to strengthen its balance sheet.
“While I am saddened that his health has forced this decision on him sooner than either of us would have wished, I respect his decision,” said chairman Sir David Walker. “He has successfully navigated Barclays’ finances through one of the most difficult periods in its history, and he has every right to be proud of what he has done here.” Lucas, 52, is understood to have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease four years ago. He announced his retirement in February and had hoped to stay on until early next year to hand over to Tushar Morzaria, but his health has deteriorated.
Lucas said: “While I had hoped to be able to continue working until early next year, it is now clear to me that with my health as it is, this will no longer be possible. I want to do the right thing by Barclays, my family and myself, and therefore I have reached the difficult decision to step down sooner.”
Lucas will get £600,000 a year sick pay under an income protection policy in his contract. His pay and bonus fell to £2.1 million from £4.1 million last year. He owns 1.15 million Barclays shares worth £3.2 million and has options and long-term awards over another seven million.
Lucas was named by the Financial Conduct Authority as one of four Barclays executive it has probed over payments the bank is alleged to have made to Qatar during its £2 billion fund-raising fund in 2008. Barclays said it contest the FCA’s findings. The Serious Fraud Office is also investigating.
Group financial controller Peter Estlin will be acting finance director until Morzaria arrives from JPMorgan Chase in mid-October.