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11th September 2012

No sudden changes made to Barclays Capital

The Barclays news conference ahead of the investors conference in New York was viewed as somewhat of a anti-climax by those attending. Some had expected some statement of significance despite, or because of, the very recent change in both CEO and chairman. CEO, Antony Jenkins' started out cautiously on the future of Barclays Capital stating that a strategic plan would be issued in 2013 Q1 and that “You should not expect me to announce the break-up of the bank or an exit from whole business lines.”


As time went on he expressed more positive views towards the unit, expressing a personal view stating, "I have and continue to be a supporter of Barclays universal banking model (..because)..Our portfolio of businesses provides diversity of risk, stability of earnings and lower funding costs."

Later he expressed the same view in stronger terms, "I absolutely believe that a premier investment banking franchise will be a part of ..(the future of the bank),"

Later when questioned on Barclays Capital he did mention that the bank should be 'more balanced' and 'lower risk' but refused to be drawn on what that meant in terms of Barclays Capital.

He spoke extensively about cultural reform within the bank talking of serious past mistakes, adding “Our ability to build a franchise over time depends on our reputation,”.

Rich Ricci, head of investment banking, was due to explain the framework of his own strategic review on Monday evening. One relatively painless way to reduce Barclays Capital would be to pull out of some its loss making / break even activity in Asia Pacific. Despite Monday's anti-climax there are a lot of investors believe that capital allocated to Barclays Capital will be gradually reigned back over time.