July 24, 2012 / 9:56 AM / in 5 years

Barclays picks lawyer to head business review

Signage for Barclays bank in London February 14, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays (BARC.L) has picked veteran lawyer Anthony Salz to lead a review of its culture and practices following an interest rate rigging scandal that has rocked the bank, forcing its chairman and chief executive to quit.

The review could include a change to the bank’s bonus structure and is expected to complete before May 2013. The scandal has shown Barclays needs to step up its efforts to change culture, the bank admitted on Tuesday.

Salz spent more than 30 years as a corporate lawyer with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, including 10 as senior partner.

“The culture of the banking industry overall, and that of Barclays within it, needs to evolve,” Barclays said.

The review “will assess the bank’s current values, principles and standards of operation and determine to what extent those need to change,” the bank said

It will also test how well current decision-making processes incorporate the bank’s values and assess whether appropriate training, development, incentives and disciplinary processes are in place.

“Trust has been decimated and needs to be rebuilt,” Barclays said. “Recent events indicate clearly that Barclays, like other big UK banks, needs to redouble its efforts.”

The review will be independent and Salz will report to Michael Rake, deputy chairman. The bank said it expects to fully implement its findings.

It will analyze past events that have had a negative impact on its reputation.

Barclays was fined a record $450 million last month by U.S. and British regulators for rigging the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, between 2005 and 2009, sparking fierce criticism about its culture and risk-taking.

It subsequently emerged that Britain’s financial regulator warned Barclays four months earlier that its culture was too aggressive and must change.

Salz is currently executive vice chairman of Rothschild, and he will continue in that role. He joined Rothschild in 2006.

His other roles include non-executive of the board of the Department for Education and trustee of the Tate Foundation, Eden Project and the Royal Opera House. He was vice chairman of the BBC board of governors between 2004 and 2006 and chaired two reports on press self-regulation, published in 2009 and last month.

Reporting by Steve Slater and Matt Scuffham; Editing by Mark Potter

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