Barclays has picked corporate governance expert and City grandee David Walker as its new chairman in an effort to rebuild the UK bank’s reputation after a rate rigging scandal.
The British bank said on Thursday that Walker, 72, a former Bank of England and Treasury official who wrote one of the most significant governance manuals for UK banks, would become a non-executive director on Sept. 1 and succeed Marcus Agius as chairman two months later.
One of his first tasks will be to help choose a new chief executive, which Walker said he will be “fully engaged” in.
Agius, who resigned over the scandal along with chief executive Bob Diamond, said the bank had been encouraged “by the quality of candidates” that it had seen so far for the CEO post.
Barclays was fined US$453 million in June for manipulating Libor rates in a scandal that unearthed deep problems in its relations with regulators, who have accused the bank of frequently being too aggressive.
That sparked the resignations of Agius and Diamond, who left under pressure from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Bank of England after a public and political outcry over the scandal. Chief operating officer Jerry del Missier also quit.
Walker said that he was looking forward to playing his part in moving the company on after recent events.
“The UK needs a strong financial services sector and Barclays has a crucial role to play in ensuring that this country has a successful, well-governed banking industry,” he said in a statement.
He will step down from his role as a senior adviser to US investment bank Morgan Stanley, having previously been chairman of its international operations based in London.