Barclays picks retail banker to replace Diamond

Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:00pm EDT
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By Sarah White and Steve Slater

LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays named retail banker Antony Jenkins as chief executive on Thursday, signaling a shift from riskier investment banking as it tries to recover from the interest rate-rigging scandal that brought down his predecessor.

Criticised by regulators for an aggressive culture under limelight-loving American Bob Diamond, Barclays must now decide how far to curb the investment bank he built and which generates most of the British bank's profits.

His soft-spoken manner contrasting with the brash Diamond's, Jenkins said Barclays had made mistakes and had to change to get beyond them.

"Getting there will require nothing short of the transformation of how we operate the business," he said.

He told Reuters: "It would be wrong to ignore some of the things that have happened in the past. That does require us to modify the culture."

Jenkins inherits a daunting in-tray.

He was appointed hours after Britain's fourth biggest bank by market value said fraud prosecutors had launched a criminal probe into dealings with Qatar in 2008. That comes just two months after it was fined over $450 million for manipulating Libor benchmark interest rates, prompting Diamond's resignation.

Jenkins, 51, started as a graduate trainee at Barclays in 1983. After spells elsewhere, he returned six years ago to turn around its credit card business before taking on all its retail and business banking.   Continued...

The Chief Executive of Barclays global retail banking, Antony Jenkins, leaves after giving evidence to a Treasury select committee hearing at Parliament in London January 11, 2011. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor