Barclays set to appoint new chief executive

<p>Former JP Morgan banker James Staley will be taking on the role.</p>

Barclays will soon be appointing a new chief executive, it has emerged.

BBC sources have confirmed that former JP Morgan banker James Staley will be taking on the role.

The British Banking group's previous chief, Antony Jenkins was fired in July, following a fall-out with board members. 

Mr Staley is currently a managing partner at US firm BlueMountain Capital Management, which he joined in 2013. Before that, he was chief executive of JP Morgan's investment banking and asset management.

BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed explained in a tweet that regulatory clearance will be required before Barclays makes an official announcement.

Focus on investment banking

Mr Ahmed noted that the move indicates the bank would be keeping its investment focus.

He told Radio 4's Today programme that there had previously been "big tensions" between the retail and investment divisions of the bank and investors were unhappy about Mr Jenkins' attempts to change focus towards the retail side of the business.

Commenting on the renewed focus on investment banking, John McFarlane, executive chairman at Barclays said that European investment banks should consider merging to create a regional 'champion' that could compete with US rivals.

"If you did want to create an investment banking champion for Europe, you would have to combine the investment banking arms of the main players, but you would have to swallow really hard and you would need political support," he told the Financial Times.

Barclays is currently undergoing a restructuring project. Last year, the bank announced that it would be cutting thousands of jobs and shutting down a number of retail banking branches.

Earlier this year, Barclays reported a 25 per cent rise in statutory pre-tax profits to £3.1 billion for the six months to the end of June. During that period, the bank set aside £850 million for compensation, including ongoing claims for mis-sold payment protection insurance.

At 9:15 BST on Tuesday morning (October 13th), Barclays shares were down 2.81 per cent to 249.35, compared to a previous close of 256.55.

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