Apr 11, 2019

Barclays hits back at activist Edward Bramson

Barclays hit back at activist investor Edward Bramson on Thursday, arguing that his appointment to its board of directors would destabilise the bank. The company conceded that its investment banking unit, which is unpopular with some investors, was still underperforming but insisted that Mr Bramson's election as a director was "Not what Barclays needs right now". The lender was responding to a letter sent by Mr Bramson to other investors earlier this week, in which he urged them to vote for him at the company's annual meeting in May. In the letter, Mr Bramson warned there was a "Real threat" that Barclays would have to raise fresh capital from its shareholders unless it scaled back its trading operations. Mr Bramson has amassed a 5.5 per cent stake in Barclays - making him the company's third-largest investor - and has called for the bank to shrink its markets division. Barclays insisted the bank did not need to alter its strategy, as Mr Bramson has suggested, and warned that he "Would be a disruptive and uncollaborative influence on the board".

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