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Barclays to scale back investment banking
Barclays to scale back investment banking

The new boss of British lender Barclays wants to shrink its investment bank division as he seeks to move on from rate-rigging and mis-selling scandals, he has indicated in an interview.

Chief executive Antony Jenkins told The Sunday Times newspaper there was "no doubt" tough banking sector regulations would "make some activities in investment banking difficult to make an adequate return on".

He said profits would be hit by British plans to force banks to ringfence their retail activities.

At the same time, Europe's major banks will also be forced to hold more cash as a buffer against any other financial crises, under looming Basel III rules.

"There are a number of external factors coming down the line and regulation is clearly a very powerful one," Mr Jenkins told the newspaper.

In a separate interview, the new Barclays chief said he wanted to do more "listening than talking" as he sought to turn the group's fortunes around.

"I'm going to spend a lot of time with external shareholders. I'll be listening a lot more than I'm talking. That's an important way of operating," he told the Sunday Telegraph.

"I want to hear what's on investors' minds. If they've got concerns about how we run the bank, then I would anticipate we'll change the way we do business."

Mr Jenkins, formerly Barclays' retail and business banking boss, was appointed chief executive with immediate effect on Thursday last week. He replaced US national Bob Diamond, who resigned in July over the notorious Libor rate-rigging scandal.

As well as the Libor case, which has cost the bank STG290 million ($A448 million) in fines, Barclays has been involved in a payment protection insurance scandal and mis-selling of interest rate swaps to businesses.

In another heavy blow, Barclays revealed last week the Serious Fraud Office was probing payments made to Qatar Holding, which it tapped for funds at the height of the 2008 global financial crisis to avoid part-nationalisation.