Barclays appoints lawyer to lead review
BARCLAYS HAS moved quickly to make a visible commitment to change its ways, appointing a respected lawyer to lead a review of its much-criticised business culture.
The bank yesterday announced that Anthony Salz would lead an independent review of its way of doing business. It said it intended to implement the findings of the Salz review in full.
The crisis of confidence in Barclays’ way of operating was triggered by the bank’s £290 million settlement with UK and US regulators over the attempted manipulation of the Libor lending benchmark, and the subsequent resignation of the group’s chairman, chief executive and chief operating officer, following public criticism and stiff pressure from regulators.
Mr Salz is to interview relevant “stakeholders” over the coming months. The precise timetable of the exercise is unclear, though the bank is known to want the process to be complete by next April’s annual meeting of shareholders. Mr Salz, who will report back to Sir Michael Rake, deputy chairman, will be supported by a deputy and a consultancy firm which he will appoint.
Mr Salz said in a statement: “Barclays has a real opportunity to use the events of the past weeks to drive a change in its values and practices, and I look forward to hearing views on the changes that should be made. I very much hope that this review will significantly assist Barclays in rebuilding trust and reaffirming its position as one of our leading institutions.”
Those who know Mr Salz say he is a man of charm and charisma but he was also dubbed “the finest legal brain in Britain” by Money Week magazine in 2006. Mr Salz spent more than 30 years as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. He sat on the board of governors of the BBC between 2004 and 2006. He was later executive vice-chairman at investment bank Rothschild.
Barclays insiders said Mr Salz was chosen because of his independence of mind and legal experience but also his familiarity with the Bank of England, where he was a former adviser.– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012