Thursday, 17 January 2013

Barclays: improve standards or leave

Barclays new chief executive has sent a memo to his 140,000 staff telling them to sign up to a set of ethical standards or go and find work somewhere else.

Antony Jenkins was promoted to the top operational position at the bank after it was rocked by the LIBOR scandal over attempts to rig interest rates.

He told staff: "we must never again be in a position of rewarding people for making the bank money in a way which is unethical or inconsistent with our values."

He warned anyone reluctant to toe the line that "Barclays is not the place for you."

Barclays new code of conduct would be based on Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence and Stewardship.

In contrast Mr Jenkins admitted that banking had become too aggressive and too focused on short-term gain.

He told employees that in Barclays there was "a tendency at times, manifest in all parts of the bank, to pursue short-term profits at the expense of the values and reputation of the organisation."

The bank is training a task force of 1,000 staff to spread the message to other employees over the next few months.

Barclays was the first of several international banks to be implicated in the LIBOR affair. Last June it paid fines of £290m and its then chief executive, Bob Diamond, was later forced to resign.

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