Barclays boss sacked over strategy row

<p>Chief executive Antony Jenkins fired after disagreement over cost-cutting and profitability.</p>

The chief executive of Barclays, Antony Jenkins, has been fired after a disagreement with the board concerning the bank's cost-cutting and profitability strategy.

According to the BBC, board members wanted bigger cuts and more emphasis placed on the investment bank's performance.

Commenting on the news, chairman John McFarlane explained that the board believed the bank needs to become more efficient: What we need is profit improvement. Barclays is not efficient. We are cumbersome," he said.

Mr McFarlane has been named executive chairman until a new chief executive is appointed.

In a statement, Barclays said the bank needed a "new set of skills" at the top level.

Shares up

The departure of Mr Jenkins has been seen as good news by investors and shares went up more than three per cent in early morning trading.

Mr McFarlane praised how Mr Jenkins had helped the bank through the aftermath of the financial crisis, but added that it was time for a change at the company.

"There is no question that cultural change was urgently required," he said, adding that Mr Jenkins's skill set had been suitable when he took charge of the company in 2012. However the company's needs had changed.

The board recognised the contribution to the company that Mr Jenkins had made over the years, saying they were "extremely grateful to him for bringing the company to a much stronger position".

However, the non-executive directors had also "concluded that new leadership is required to accelerate the pace of execution going forward."

Future of the company

When asked about future job cuts, Mr McFarlane did not rule them out. He also gave no promises about keeping branches open.

"Inevitably, banks are going to have fewer branches than they have now," he told the BBC. He also said the bank would not be renewing its sponsorship of the Premier League when it expires later this year.

Mr McFarlane says that Barclays needs to increase returns to shareholders by improving revenue, costs and capital performance. 

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