Restoring trust in Barclays 'to take five to 10 years'

 

Barclays boss Antony Jenkins says it will take five to 10 years to restore trust in banks, while Archbishop Welby says it will take a generation

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Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins says he expects it to be five to 10 years before he can restore public trust in the bank.

Mr Jenkins said that people in large organisations, "want to do the right thing - it's sometimes that they perceive the right thing differently".

Mr Jenkins was guest editor of the Today programme on Radio 4 on Tuesday.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby - also on the programme- said that change would take "a generation."

Mr Jenkins made the comments in a session with students at Brooke House Sixth Form College in East London, at an event organised by the charity Speakers for Schools, which was founded by BBC business editor Robert Peston.

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A picture was painted of an industry whose instincts is to bend or break the rules, when there's money to be made and no-one's looking.”

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Archbishop Welby said that there had been a "progressive loss of vision of what banks are for".

He added that while many business leaders seemed to have realised the mistakes that had been made, some were clearly still "in denial", although he declined to name them.

He added that there was still refusal to accept the continued need for cultural transformation after the 2008 financial crisis from some in the banking sector.

"I came across senior members of the City who were still absolutely in denial about what happened in 2008," he said.

Speaking to the BBC's chief economics correspondent Hugh Pym, Archbishop Welby said that the failure to accept the need for change was still prevalent in remuneration, or pay practices, in the banking sector.

He said that it was a "generational" challenge.

When asked how far away banks were from serving society as a whole, rather than just the wishes of shareholders, the archbishop said that the challenge of leadership was to make clear the urgency of a "massive cultural change" away from serving shareholders.

Archbishop Welby and Mr Jenkins also appeared together on the Today programme, and spoke of the similarities between leadership of a bank and of the Church of England.

Mr Jenkins said that they shared views on "where banks need to go".

However, Archbishop Welby also told the Today programme that the Church of England is still deciding how to get rid of £80,000 in shares that help to fund short-term or "payday" lenders, such as Wonga.

It emerged in July that the Church had the investment. At the time, the archbishop said he was "embarrassed" by it.

Helena Morrissey, chief executive of Newton Investment Management, was also invited onto the programme and asked about the role of business in the wider community.

She said that "responsibly managed" companies were more likely to perform well, and achieve a competitive advantage.

Mr Jenkins became Barclays boss in August 2012.

It has been a difficult year for banks, with growing compensation claims for mis-selling as well as investigations into rigging parts of the market.

 

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  • rate this
    -15

    Comment number 899.

    It is too easy to get on our soap boxes and blame the bankers.Let us not tarnish the whole industry sector and the honest people within it for the sake of some 'scallywags' that lost sight of their own moral compass.It is refreshing to see a CEO being open and honest about the challenges ahead and prepared to do something about it. For us customers, when did we step back and say 'no' to credit?

  • rate this
    +19

    Comment number 538.

    Banks are businesses not public service providers. They offer a product. If you don't like it go somewhere else. However, like all other businesses, no Government support should ever be provided. All businesses must live or die on their own merits. Lenders and shareholders should be left alone to take all the risks and reap all the rewards they want, but also suffer any adverse consequences.

  • rate this
    +41

    Comment number 485.

    The sad truth is that greedy bankers lent money to greedy people to buy things they couldn't afford. 125% mortages at 4x your salary and self certification being a prime example. Neither the bankers nor these people are willing to regulate themselves, so we need the government to do it or nothing will change. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an incentive for the government either...

  • rate this
    +32

    Comment number 482.

    Trust a banker - NO NEVER AGAIN

  • rate this
    +30

    Comment number 476.

    All company's top priority is making profits. That is why they are created. Banks clearly do that far more than most. Customers are the things they can rip off so they can make even more money. If ANYONE ever trusts a bank they need serious psychiatric medication. My goodness, it would almost be like trusting politicians and that WOULD be totally stupid!

 

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