Barclays has a new chief executive officer—Antony Jenkins, head of its consumer business, is taking over the spot vacated by Bob Diamond in the heat of the LIBOR scandal. His new position is effective immediately.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that Jenkins will serve under incoming chairman David Walker, once head of Morgan Stanley’s European investment bank. Walker succeeds Marcus Agius, who also stepped down over the furor over interbank rate manipulation.
While Jenkins “has been on the board, he’s knows what the bank’s been doing, he knows the strategy,” according to Chris Wheeler, a London-based analyst at Mediobanca, “… he’s never been a practicing investment banker.” Wheeler was quoted saying, “That will make the people in investment banking nervous, particularly in New York.”
The incoming CEO will likely not have an easy time of it. In addition to calls from both shareholders and analysts for the bank to either sell off its investment bank or shrink, he faces a criminal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over payments the bank made to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund in 2008 while it was trying to boost cash to avoid a government bailout.
The agency is working with Britain’s Financial Services Authority (FSA), which was revealed by the bank last month to be conducting an investigation of four current and former senior employees, including Finance Director Chris Lucas. In a statement on July 27, Barclays said, “The FSA is investigating the sufficiency of disclosure in relation to fees payable under certain commercial agreements and whether these may have related to Barclays capital raisings in June and November 2008.”
On Tuesday the bank issued a statement that the SFO has “commenced an investigation into payments under certain commercial agreements between Barclays and Qatar Holding LLC.” Barclays managed to avoid having the government step in with a bailout, as it did in the cases of Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Lloyds Banking Group, by raising 7 billion pounds ($11.087 billion) of capital from investors that included both the Qatar and the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds.
In a statement, Jenkins said, “Barclays is a strong universal bank. We have made serious mistakes in recent years. We have much to do.”