LONDON (Reuters) - Gus O’Donnell, widely seen as a front runner to become chairman at scandal-hit bank Barclays (BARC.L), is out of the running for the job after senior bankers raised concerns about the former top civil servant’s lack of industry experience.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that Britain’s financial watchdog, the FSA, would have probably turned down the application if Barclays’ board had chosen O’Donnell, a former UK Cabinet Secretary, because of a lack of experience.
Barclays is reeling from the fallout of a record 290 million pounds ($455 million) fine by U.S. and British regulators for rigging the Libor interest rate benchmark between 2005 and 2009, sparking fierce criticism about its culture and risk-taking.
In the uproar that followed, the Bank of England effectively forced Bob Diamond to resign as chief executive. Chairman Marcus Agius, who has been criticized for not reining in Diamond, has taken on executive duties but will leave when a successor is found.
Investors are keen to see at least one of the posts of chairman and CEO filled by an outsider, untainted by association with the scandal.
On Friday the bank revealed a new regulatory probe into whether it made sufficient disclosures about the fees it paid in a 2008 capital raising.
Barclays declined to comment on Sunday.
($1=0.6364 British pounds)
Reporting by Matt Scuffham and Chris Vellacott; Editing by Mike Nesbit