New boss at Barclays pledges to change its culture

Internal appointment says the bank must correct some 'serious mistakes'

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The Independent Online

The new chief executive of Barclays has pledged that he will change the culture which has seen the bank embroiled in a series of interest rate-fixing and mis-selling scandals.

Antony Jenkins, previously head of retail and business banking at the bank, said his first task was to "stabilise the organisation".

He replaces Bob Diamond, the highly paid investment banker, who resigned as chief executive over the Libor-rigging scandal in July.

"It is clear that we have made serious mistakes," Mr Jenkins said. "We need to change our culture, which means setting out the values you expect from people and deal with those who don't follow them. I believe that is perfectly feasible."

He also admitted that he is likely to scrap Mr Diamond's ambitious target of getting Barclays to produce a 13 per cent return on equity. He said: "We need to put a lot more structure and credibility around the return on equity. It is not so much having a fixed target but ensuring that our return is higher than our cost of equity."

Mr Jenkins, 51, will be paid a basic salary of £1.1m but that could go up to as much as £8.6m with annual bonus, long-term share incentives and pension payments. That is still half the £17m collected by Mr Diamond.

Unlike his two predecessors, Mr Diamond and John Varley, Mr Jenkins has kept a low public profile. Insiders say he is a serious and dedicated banker. He was by far the strongest internal candidate at Barclays, where the board felt it was almost impossible to appoint anyone from its own investment bank. He became the front-runner last week after Bill Winters, former JPMorgan banker, dropped out of the selection process.

Mr Jenkins said: "We have made serious mistakes in recent years and clearly failed to keep pace with our stakeholders' expectations. We have an obligation to all of those stakeholders – customers, clients, shareholders, colleagues and broader society and a unique opportunity to restore Barclays' reputation by making it the 'go-to' bank in all of our chosen markets."

Mr Jenkins joined Barclays as graduate trainee, starting in its South Kensington branch in 1983. He spent six years with Citigroup before returning to head Barclaycard in 2006. He became chief executive of retail and business banking in 2009. Although he is untainted by the Libor scandal, he was in charge of the retail division for much of the period it mis-sold PPI, which has cost Barclays £1.3bn.

Sir David Walker, Barclays chairman-elect, said: "The field of short-listed candidates that I met was very strong, and it was clear that Antony was the outstanding choice. His track record, familiarity with the group and vision for the future are all highly compelling."

Conrad Hills, director of financial services at the headhunter Norman Broadbent, said: "I applaud Barclays' decision. It's great to have somebody who customers can trust at the head of one of the UK's leading banks. "Barclays shares fell 2.85p to 183.5p, more on worries over the SFO inquiry than the new boss.

Keith Bowman, at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "The bank's fight to restore its reputation continues. The chairman-elect has clearly given his stamp of approval."