Barclays’s Jenkins Says Rebuilding Trust to Take 10 Years

Dec 31, 2013 5:03 am ET

(Updates with share price in seventh paragraph.)

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Antony Jenkins, chief executive officer of Barclays Plc, said it may take a decade to rebuild trust in the bank after a series of scandals from interest-rate manipulation to selling customers insurance they didn’t need.

“It is about what you do, not what you say,” Jenkins said on the BBC’s Today radio program. “Until people start to perceive the change, Barclays will not begin rebuilding that trust.”

Jenkins, 52, was guest editor of the BBC’s daily current- affairs show as he seeks to mend the reputation of the London- based lender. “In my view it will take several years -- probably five to 10,” he said.

Jenkins was named to head Barclays in August 2012 in the aftermath of the Libor rate-rigging scandal, which cost the lender 290 million pounds ($479 million) in fines and three of its most senior executives, including CEO Bob Diamond. This year Barclays increased provisions against insurance mis-selling claims to 4 billion pounds. Last month, six currency traders were suspended as regulators investigate the manipulation of the $5.3 trillion a day foreign exchange market.

The lender is also being probed by regulators over whether it properly disclosed 322 million pounds of payments to Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund as part of a 7 billion-pound fundraising during the financial crisis, a move that helped the bank avoid a government bailout. The U.K. markets regulator said in September it may fine the bank 50 million pounds. Barclays said it’s still contesting the findings.

‘Desperately Disappointing’

“It’s desperately disappointing to still have these issues being uncovered,” Jenkins said on the BBC. “We are undoing 30 years of culture and that will take time. Legacy issues will be with us for a number of years.”

Barclays shares rose 1 percent to 270 pence in London at 9:30 a.m. The stock has increased 13 percent this year.

Jenkins, Barclays’s former consumer banking head, in February overhauled the bank’s structure and closed businesses, including a profitable operation that helped wealthy individuals and businesses cut their tax bill.

“Historically, Barclays was quite active in tax avoidance,” Jenkins said. “That is something we have stopped doing.”

In October, Barclays raised 5.8 billion pounds in a rights offering after the bank in June was found one of two British lenders to miss stricter capital rules. Barclays, which is seeking to cut annual expenses by 1.7 billion pounds by 2015, said a slump in trading at its investment bank hurt revenue in July and August. The lender restated earnings for 2012 in April.

--Editors: Steve Bailey, Jesse Westbrook