Jes Staley begins his first day as chief executive of Barclays with a loss of almost £300,000 on the shares he bought last month to show his commitment to the role.
The American banker, who spent much of his career at JP Morgan, paid 233p for each of the 2.8m shares he bought on 4 November and is now facing a 10p loss on each share as they closed on Monday at 223p. He spent £6.4m buying the shares.
He formally becomes chief executive on Tuesday, the same day that Barclays receives the results of stress tests imposed on the UK’s major lenders to test their resilience to a shock in the global markets and prolonged deflation.
Staley, who stands to receive £10m in his first year, replaces Antony Jenkins, who was ousted in July to put a new emphasis on growth at the bank which has been scrambling to repair its reputation in the wake of the 2012 Libor rigging scandal.
Once the outcome of the stress test is known, Staley will have the task of setting a strategy for the bank that bolsters returns to shareholders but also satisfies regulators’ requirement for it to ringfence its high street business from its riskier investment banking operations.
Ian Gordon, a banks analyst at Investec, said the key to improving returns was focusing on cutting costs rather than aiming for dramatic increases in revenue. “Revenues fell 5% in 2013, 8% in 2014 and we forecast a 3% decline in 2015,” said Gordon. His forecasts for revenue growth in 2016 and 2017 respectively are 2% and 3%.
Staley has already told staff that he wants to turn Barclays into a bank that is “successful, admired and well regarded by all”. Last week, Jenkins predicted that the banking industry could see a 50% cut in jobs over the next 10 years as a result of technological advances.
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