The bank is and will remain a universal bank, new chief executive Antony Jenkins has said. Of course, few expected him to say anything else. All his remarks so far have been about the need for cultural, rather than structural, change at Barclays. The Jenkins mantra seems to be: investment banking can be worthwhile even without the naughty bits, like a department that specialises in elaborate tax planning.
It's a point of view, and, yes, it ought to be possible to clean up the Barclays brand; it remains a mighty name in banking. But one of these days Jenkins will have to get round to informing shareholders how the financial pie will be divided in future. One major grumble among Barclays' owners in recent years has been that the investment bankers are collecting so much that there's too little left for dividends for them.
It is probably wise for Jenkins at this stage not to frighten his investment bankers with big speeches about pay and bonuses. But his hard work starts when the "difficult decisions" are made.
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