Barclays parts company with chief executive Antony Jenkins

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins.
Photo: Newscast/PA Wire

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins. Photo: Newscast/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Barclays has fired its chief executive Antony Jenkins after less than three years in the role.

Deputy chairman Sir Michael Rake said new leadership was required to accelerate the pace of change at the lender.

Sir Michael said: “I reflected long and hard on the issue of group leadership and discussed this with each of the non-executive directors. Notwithstanding Antony’s significant achievements, it became clear to all of us that a new set of skills were required for the period ahead.”

The bank said it will appoint chairman John McFarlane as executive chairman from July 17 until a successor is found.

Mr Jenkins leaves the bank with 12 months’ notice and will receive his current annual salary of £1.1million, £950,000 in role-based pay and a pension of £363,000 a year.

He became chief executive in summer 2012, replacing Bob Diamond, who left the bank in the wake of its involvement in the Libor scandal, which saw banks attempt to fix the key interest rate.

Mr Jenkins promised to bring a new culture of decency to the bank, although the lender now says it must improve its commercial performance.

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He said: “In the summer of 2012, I became group chief executive at a particularly difficult time for Barclays. It is easy to forget just how bad things were three years ago both for our industry and even more so for us.”

He added: “I am very proud of the significant progress we have made since then. Our capital position is much stronger, our business model is more balanced, we are much more disciplined on cost management, we have made good progress in rebuilding our reputation and we are seen as a leader in the application of technology to our business.”

Barclays confirmed that Mr Jenkins has already left the bank. Mr McFarlane has taken over his duties, although the changes will not fully come into effect until July 17 when he retires as chairman of bus and train operator FirstGroup.

Mr McFarlane was chairman at insurer Aviva in 2012 when it axed its boss, Andrew Moss, due to the under-performance of the business. He then also acted as executive chairman until the insurer found its new chief executive, Mark Wilson.

Mr McFarlane said: “Whilst it is unfortunate that I have had little time to work with Antony, I respect and endorse the position of the board in deciding that a change in leadership is required at this time.”

He added that with his “fresh perspective” he could see that Barclays has first-class retail, commercial and investment banking businesses.

But Mr McFarlane added: “Nevertheless, we are leaving value on the table and a new approach is required. As a group, if we aspire to bring shareholder returns forward, we need to be much more focused on what is attractive, what we are good at, and where we are good at it.”