Seegers out as Diamond wins again in the power struggle at Barclays

Barclays' retail banking chief, Frits Seegers, is to quit the bank in the wake of a surprise shake-up of the bank's board. Mr Seegers is understood to have been unhappy with plans to remove commercial banking operations from his remit and will receive a pay off of around £700,000.

The shake-up will result in the commercial bank, which handles substantial loans to big business, being added to the empire of Barclays' president, Bob Diamond. It will form part of a new division: corporate and investment banking and wealth management. That will include investment bank Barclays Capital, commercial banking and Barclays Wealth, the private banking group.

The reorganisation will also bring about a new global retail banking business. This will be run by Antony Jenkins, who is being promoted from his role as head of the Barclaycard operation. He will join an expanded executive committee, chaired by chief executive, John Varley. His division will include Barclaycard, UK retail banking, Western European retail banking and the company's emerging markets businesses.

The shake-up comes against a background of rapid change in the way banks are regulated in the wake of the financial crisis. Regulators have increasingly been looking at how banks that are considered "too big to fail" should be run and how much capital they hold. They have suggested that ways should be found to separate straightforward retail banking operations from more complex investment banking operations. Commercial banks have been seen as fitting better with the latter.

There was speculation in the City that Barclays' organisational moves would make it easier to split the businesses more formally, depending on how the changes pan out.

Mr Seegers was appointed with great fanfare from Citigroup less than three years ago. At the time he was seen as providing a counterweight to the power of Mr Diamond, who narrowly lost out on the top job to Mr Varley. However, relations between Mr Diamond and Mr Varley have improved markedly recently and the perception of tensions between them has eased.

The shake-up is also seen as victory for Mr Jenkins, who had originally been promised a seat on the executive committee when he was hired from Citigroup but lost it as part of an earlier reorganisation. As part of the changes, several other high-flying executives have been promoted to the committee. Barclays said the intention was to bring new talent forward.

Jerry del Missier and Rich Ricci will be co-chief executives of the new corporate and investment bank, reporting to Mr Diamond, while Tom Kalaris, chief executive of Barclays Wealth, will continue to lead the wealth management business.

They will join the executive committee along with Maria Ramos, who is the chief executive of Absa, Barclays majority-owned South African bank.

Other new members of the committee include Robert LeBlanc, the head of risk, who is considered to have done an effective job keeping Barclays clear of some of the pitfalls that rivals fell into during the financial crisis. Barclays managed to avoid calling on state aid from the Government, although it did secure a substantial capital injection from Middle Eastern governments.

In addition, Mark Harding, group general counsel, and Cathy Turner, group human resources director, round up the expanded top team. Chris Lucas, the finance director, retains his place.

Mr Varley said: " I am sad that the changes result in Frits leaving the Group. Frits has had a transformational impact on our retail and commercial businesses globally. I am extremely grateful for the energy and commitment he has brought to Barclays and for the momentum he created during the last three years."

Mr Varley said the shake-up would "position Barclays strongly in an industry that is experiencing rapid change. At their heart is developing our capabilities to benefit the customers and clients of Barclays within a strong governance framework which is well attuned to the events of the last two years."

On the same day HSBC, which has also avoided a tax-payer bailout, said it planned to axe 1,700 jobs from its retail banking business in Britain. It follows Royal Bank of Scotland's announcement of 3,700 job cuts.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific