Antony Jenkins, who is the new chief executive of Barclays, is about as far as it is possible to be from his self-confident, self-promoting predecessor. His accent has a gentle Northern edge; his whole demeanour bespeaks risk aversion. You can't see MPs in the Treasury Select Committee getting a rise from him in the way they did from Bob Diamond or Marcus Agius. There is something reassuringly "bank managerish" about him – like Mr Mainwaring of Walmington-on-Sea. As such, the appointment is a statement in itself.
Shareholders might well ask just how strong the shortlist of external candidates really was, and there are minuses and pluses in the choice of an insider. But the switch from investment banker to retail banker is more than symbolic. The rehabilitation, and future success, of our banks lies on the high street, not in the dealing rooms. Mr Jenkins' job is to prove that.Reuse content