Barclays boss: Firms may want to merge investment banking units

Honey I Shrunk The Banks

'If there was a decent play that was neutral or accretive for shareholders, we wouldn’t be opposed to just joining two investment banks'.

The chairman of Barclays has said European investment banks should consider merging to create a regional champion to compete with US rivals, highlighting the anxieties of senior bankers in Europe about their sector’s future.

'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', John McFarlane told the Financial Times.

Underlining the concerns, Frédéric Oudéa, chief executive of France’s Société Générale and president of the European Banking Federation, writes in Monday’s FT that a handful of 'robust' US universal banks 'are gaining market share abroad while strengthening their positions at home'.

'If there was a decent play that was neutral or accretive for shareholders, we wouldn’t be opposed to just joining two investment banks', McFarlane said.

Hit the link below to access the complete Financial Times article:

Barclays chief says EU banking champion needed to compete with US

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