Oct 9, 2017

Barclays chief Jes Staley faces threats on two fronts

Barclays' chief executive is facing growing pressure on two fronts as shareholders lose patience with his investment banking strategy and sluggish share price, while regulators prepare to decide whether he should be allowed to stay in his job. Jes Staley, the American hired by the British bank almost two years ago, is betting he can increase one of the group's key profitability measures to its highest level in almost a decade by expanding the investment bank. Another large shareholder in the bank said: "The investment bank has never returned its cost of capital - that's the root of this debate. If I was the board I would want to be vigilant that Jes doesn't get too bullish and carried away with the investment bank." Mr Staley has told colleagues that the way he boosted the bank's capital by selling its African operation and cutting its dividend compares well with rivals Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, both of which diluted investors with big share issues. The Barclays board held an off-site meeting two weeks ago at the luxury Cliveden House Hotel on the banks of the Thames in Buckinghamshire, where it examined Mr Staley's strategy of putting more resources into the investment bank.

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