The torment of St. Antony: Barclays fires chief executive Antony Jenkins

Bank wants to see faster profit making in its investment arm, and says branch closures are inevitable

Barclays bank has fired its chief executive Antony Jenkins over concerns the investment banking business wasn’t performing strongly enough.

Jenkins had been in the role for three years, and had taken over from Bob Diamond who left amid the Libor banking scandal.

The bank has announced the appointment of John McFarlane as executive chairman, who will take over Jenkins’ duties until a replacement is found.

Jenkins appointment in the wake of the Libor scandal earned him the nickname “St. Antony”, due to his clear commitment to cleaning up the bank.

But now the bank wants to focus on profit.

In a statement, Barclays deputy chairman Sir Michael Rake said: “Notwithstanding Antony’s significant achievements, it became clear to all of us that a new set of skills were required for the period ahead.  This does not take away from our appreciation of Antony’s contribution at a critical time for the company.”

McFarlane, said: “We are leaving value on the table and a new approach is required.  As a group, if we aspire to bring shareholder returns forward, we need to be much more focused on what is attractive, what we are good at, and where we are good at it.

“We therefore need to accelerate revenue, costs and capital performance.”

Speaking to the BBC, McFarlane reiterated his desire to see growth in the investment bank. “What we need is profit improvement,” he said. “Barclays is not efficient. We are cumbersome.”

He also did not rule out job cuts and said that branch closures would be inevitable.

“Inevitably, banks are going to have fewer branches than they have now,” McFarlane told the BBC’s business editor Kamal Ahmed.

The bank is now looking for a full time replacement for Jenkins.

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