Corporate apologies have been ten a penny since the financial crisis, with even bankers eventually accepting they have to atone.
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8am on Wednesday sees a resumption of trading in Atlas Mara Co-Nvest, the cash shell that Bob Diamond floated in London last December, with a view to building a chain of banks across the African continent.
Atlas Mara is no longer a shell, of course. The shares were suspended for five months while Bob & Co raised $300m (against an initial target of $400m) and then completed the acquisition BancABC and African Development Corporation. This gives Atlas Mara a base network across Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It’s also trying to buy the commercial arm of BRD, the development bank of Rwanda. Read more
The Regulatory and other investigations or proceedings part of the Barclays rights prospectus, published on Monday, is worth reading in full. But first you need to look at this chart, because it provides some context for what happened at Barclays in October 2008. The price of BARC stock more or less halved that month.
This is just too easy. Like killing-dodos-with-a-automatic-machine-gun easy. (Not that we ever could, or would, do that!)
The banking industry’s PR arm(y) is the opposite of Britain’s forces, for it only continues to grow and grow, not unlike bacteria. Lob in auxiliary PR, ie industry “awards”, and frankly we’d be surprised if a disgraced chief executive didn’t have at least one “Banker of the Year” accolade to his name by the time of his (or dare we say “her”?) fall. Read more
Some emails between Paul Tucker and Bob Diamond courtesy of John Mann MP. Not as explosive as billed but there is a Libor-headed email to Bob that makes reference to HSBC, RBS “Stuart”, “Johnny” and Mark Dearlove from May 2008.
Click through the pics for the full docs (although there ain’t that much more): Read more
So says John Mann, the fiery MP for Bassetlaw who’s been hurling the invective at Barclays and Bob Diamond of late.
He’s now fuming that he and fellow member of the awkward squad Andrea Leadsom have reportedly been left off the grand British parliamentary Banking Enquiry being led by treasury select committee head Andrew Tyrie. Read more
This is one hurt banker.
Bob Diamond is letting all his stock and options lapse as he departs from Barclays. Read more
Revealing little, but here it is — the Bank of England’s response to a Freedom of Information Act request from John Mann MP, seeking “copies of emails and transcripts of telephone conversations between Deputy Governor, Paul Tucker and Bob Diamond, Chief Executive of Barclays between 1 October 2008 and the 30 November 2008.”
Covering letter… (click the images) Read more
Key sentence is “senior resignations at the bank and the consequent uncertainty surrounding the firm’s direction are negative for bondholders”, although they add that recent events could be positive over the long term. Below is the full statement:
Moody’s changes outlook on Barclays’ standalone rating to negative Read more
The City of London is old, its institutions built over centuries.
FT Alphaville has done some
googling fieldwork and we have channeled the spirit of the City to give you this background on Bank of England Governor Mervyn King’s thinking since Barclays’ fines for manipulating Libor were revealed. Read more
He spent roughly his whole career at Barclays, joining in 1983 and working his way up to be first chief executive of Personal Financial Services at the bank and then head of Business Banking. He lost out to Bob Diamond in the race to be group ceo when the previous incumbent, John Varley, opted for early retirement. Read more
First, a tip for Bob Diamond’s successor as chief executive at Barclays: Don’t threaten the Bank of England. It will get you deported. Read more
There’s a lesson here for Bob and others in banking bother. It comes from Andrew Witty, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, after paying $3bn to settle the largest ever case of heathcare fraud in the US….
Today brings to resolution difficult, long-standing matters for GSK. Whilst these originate in a different era for the company, they cannot and will not be ignored. On behalf of GSK, I want to express our regret and reiterate that we have learnt from the mistakes that were made. Read more
You’re in a crisis, you want advice, right? Preferably from someone who has experienced a similar crisis.
Step forward Mark Arena. He ran investment banking corporate comms for UBS in London before moving to New York to be the bank’s head of comms there, just in time for the Great Crunch and the near-implosion of his employer. So he has frontline form. Read more
But there’s a less emotional requirement here to at least take a stab at the likely financial damage to Barclays et al as regulatory fines are followed by action in the courts. Sandy Chen at Cenkos has done some early maths: Read more
Just in case you missed it earlier — we thought it worth posting the full letter from Bob Diamond, Barclays chief executive, to Andrew Tyrie MP, Treasury Committee chairman, regarding HMT’s blocking of two tax schemes (one on buybacks of debt). This involved a rare use of retroactive legislation, if you recall.
Anyway, the letter (click image for full doc): Read more
Carnwath who?, you might ask. In the absence of a Wikipedia entry, we’ll have to use the Barclays guff:
Alison worked in investment banking and corporate finance for 20 years from 1980 to 2000, before pursuing a portfolio career. During her career, Alison became the first female Director of J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co, where she worked for 10 years. Alison also held the positions of a Senior Partner of Phoenix Securities and Managing Director, New York at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Read more
Can’t beat a Sun headline to round off a national bonus neurosis:
Barclays slashed its exposure to troubled eurozone sovereign debt by almost a third in the three months to September as it posted better-than-expected profit growth, the FT reported. The bank reported an 18 per cent rise in adjusted pre-tax profits – which strip out a large gain on the value of its own credit and charges relating to mis-sold loan insurance – to £5bn in the first nine months of this year, compared with the same period last year. However, profits were 20 per cent lower in the third quarter compared with the previous three months. At the same time revenue growth stalled, largely due to the impact of challenging market conditions on Barclays Capital, its investment banking division. BarCap’s fixed income, currency and commodities business fell by 20 per cent in the nine-month period. “It has been a period of considerable challenge and uncertainty,” said Chief Executive Officer Bob Diamond, 60, on a conference call with journalists. All but one unit performed better than the prior and year-earlier periods, he said, and it was “no surprise” the investment banking unit was the exception, notes Bloomberg.
Bob Diamond, Barclays’ chief executive, has given a surprisingly warm welcome to the Vickers Commission report, the FT says, in the first public response from a UK bank chief executive to the proposed shake-up of the industry. In comments which reformers will see as proof that bankers succeeded in diluting the commission’s recommendations, Mr Diamond said the report represented “a welcome step towards the greater clarity that banks need to be able to operate with confidence”. Mr Diamond, who was one of the most vocal opponents of excessive re-regulation during the 15 months of the report’s preparation, also praised the late decision by the Independent Commission on Banking, chaired by Sir John Vickers, to make the core ringfencing plan flexible. Mr Diamond’s speech, in New York, stopped short of fully endorsing the Vickers report due, he said, to the ongoing complexities of the process needed to implement it.