Rake rules himself out of Barclays' chairman job

Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:27am EDT
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By Matt Scuffham

LONDON (Reuters) - Michael Rake has ruled himself out of the running for the chairmanship of Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote), a role he had been favorite to assume, raising fresh questions on the leadership of the bank as it struggles to recover from the Libor scandal.

The decision by Rake, which was announced by airline easyJet Plc (EZJ.L: Quote) where he is chairman, helped send shares in Barclays down 3.8 percent at 03.20 a.m. EDT, the biggest losers in the FTSE 100 index .FTSE, having touched their lowest since November.

Rake -- currently deputy chairman of Barclays -- would have had to give up his chairmanships of easyJet and telecoms company BT Group Plc (BT.L: Quote) to take the job. Barclays is now expected to look for external candidates to fill the roles of chairman and chief executive, also vacant following the departure of Bob Diamond.

"Mike Rake has informed the easyJet board that he has formally informed the chairman of Barclays that he does not wish to be a candidate for the chairmanship of Barclays," easyJet said, confirming what sources familiar with the matter had told Reuters on Sunday.

"The board takes the opportunity to repeat its support for Sir Mike."

The next Barclays chairman faces a stiff challenge. The bank was fined $450 million three weeks ago for manipulating Libor, the interbank lending rate which sets an international financial benchmark, and the scandal has unearthed deep problems in its relations with regulators, who have accused it of frequently being too aggressive.


The job will attract intense scrutiny -- and possibly interference -- from UK authorities, which have been criticized for not doing more earlier to rein the bank in.   Continued...

People walk inside Barclays Bank's headquarters in the financial district of Canary Wharf, east London, July 3, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Winning