London – Barclays chairperson John McFarlane, three months into the job, ousted CEO Antony Jenkins and pledged to tackle a “cumbersome, bureaucratic” bank through deeper cost cuts. The shares rose.
McFarlane, who joined in April, will take over as executive chairman while the lender looks for a successor to Jenkins, 53, the London-based lender said in a statement on Wednesday. Jenkins, a former consumer banker, took over from Robert Diamond in 2012 after the bank was fined for manipulating benchmark interest rates.
While Jenkins set up a bad bank, eliminated thousands of jobs and sold assets to bolster earnings, some analysts have said Barclays will struggle to meet its profitability targets unless it deepens cuts at the securities unit. McFarlane said on Wednesday he sees a need to accelerate capital generation, while signalling further job cuts and branch closures.
“There’s a new sheriff in town and he’s got the board’s backing to make sweeping changes,” said Sandy Chen, an analyst at Cenkos Securities Plc in London. “We have long advocated an aggressive pruning of the investment bank. The time for this, it appears, is now.”
The board, led by deputy chairperson Sir Michael Rake, decided at a meeting two weeks ago to remove Jenkins after the non- executive directors said his changes weren’t happening fast enough, according to a person with knowledge of the decision, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.
McFarlane told reporters on a call that the board was “unanimous” in its decision to replace Jenkins