Tue, Feb 05, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Barclays finance director Lucas, top counsel to quit

Reuters, LONDON

Barclays PLC said its finance director Chris Lucas and its top legal expert are to retire, adding to change at the top of the British bank as it struggles to put a series of scandals behind it.

Lucas, aged 52, has been finance director for a tough six years that spanned the global financial crisis, but the past nine months have been particularly difficult.

He is one of four current and former employees being investigated by UK authorities regarding a capital injection by Qatar in 2008.

Group general counsel Mark Harding will also retire, the bank said in a statement on Sunday.

Both will remain in their roles until their successors have been found and a handover completed.

It could take up to a year to fill Lucas’ position, people familiar with the matter told reporters earlier on Sunday. Sky News first reported that Lucas would leave.

Sources said Lucas’ departure was not linked to the investigations into Qatar. He is also the only one of Barclays’ executive directors still in his post after the bank was fined US$450 million in June last year for rigging the LIBOR global benchmark interest rate.

Chief executive Antony Jenkins is attempting to move on from the bank’s troubles, which also include the mis-selling of financial products, but that is proving a challenge.

Jenkins said that Lucas and Harding both told him late last year they were considering stepping down.

“Their decision to retire was theirs alone,” he said.

Lucas has had health problems and although that has not affected his ability to do his job, it influenced his decision to retire, one of the sources said.

Jenkins is due to unveil plans to streamline and revive Barclays on Tuesday next week and he has also promised to improve culture and standards across the bank’s 140,000 workforce.

“The execution of our change program will take place over the next five to 10 years, and both Chris and Mark feel that now is the right time for them, personally and professionally, to pass the baton on in their respective roles to executives who can commit to seeing that program to completion,” Jenkins said.

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