Ethics at Barclays Went Into the Shredder

There are two ways to look at the news that Antony Jenkins, the CEO of Barclays, will turn down his $1.6m bonus this year.

Bloomberg contributor William D. Cohan writes that one is that it is another positive step to reforming the embattled bank, which among other scandals was fined half a billion dollars in June for trying to manipulate the London interbank offered rate. The alternative explanation is that this is a public relations gambit intended to mute public outrage and get back to business as usual as soon as possible.

After all, coming off its annus horribilis of 2012, the last thing Barclays wants is any discussion of the recent disclosures about the absolutely shocking behavior of Andrew Tinney, the former chief operating officer of the bank’s high-end investment division, then known as Barclays Wealth. Never heard of the 46-year-old Tinney ? Well then, you’re in for a real treat.

A year ago, Tinney, who made about $8m a year helping to run a division with nearly $300bn under management, commissioned an outside report of the workplace culture at his division by the consultancy Genesis Ventures. It was a response to a 2011 Securities and Exchange Commission finding of 'deficiencies and weaknesses' at the U.S. unit of Barclays Wealth, known as BWA, and its compliance with banking laws. No small matter.

The U.S. business, run by former Merrill Lynch banker Mitch Cox, who joined Barclays in 2009, is at 200 Park Ave. At Tinney’s direction, two investigators from Genesis interviewed more than 50 U.S. employees and discovered a business more than a little out of control, thanks in large part to Cox’s boorish management style.

Hit the link below to access the complete Bloomberg article:

Ethics at Barclays Went Into the Shredder

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William D. Cohan is the author of the recently released Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World and the New York Times bestsellers House of Cards and The Last Tycoons.

Cohan is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and writes frequently for Financial Times, Fortune, The Atlantic and The Washington Post. He worked on Wall Street as a senior mergers and acquisitions banker for 15 years.

He also worked for two years at G.E. Capital. Cohan is a graduate of Duke University, Columbia University School of Journalism and Columbia University Graduate School of Business. The Last Tycoons won the 2007 Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.


image: © Elliot Brown

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