Sky-high pressure: Barclays' boss faces investors and MPs

By Margareta Pagano
Sunday 08 February 2009 01:00
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Barclays' chief executive, John Varley, has a tough week ahead.

Tomorrow he kicks off the UK bank reporting season when he will be the first to announce full-year results. Mr Varley took the unprecedented step two weeks ago of writing to investors to reassure them that Barclays was still profitable and has said the bank will show a pre-tax profit of more than £5bn for last year.

This helped shares, which had bombed for 10 days in a row, rise by more than 70 per cent. But investors still want to know the full extent of writedowns and rising bad debt. Mr Varley then has to face the Treasury Select Committee on Wednesday along with his peers from Santander and Lloyds to answer questions about their role in the banking crash.

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