Monday 24th October 2016                 Change text size:

Barclays chief calls on staff to observe new ethical values or quit

Photo: Elliott Brown via Flickr

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins has sent a memo to the bank’s 140,000-strong global staff base, calling on employees to quit if they don’t agree with the bank’s renewed values.

He said that the past 12 months – in which Barclays has become embroiled in a number of scandals, including Libor fixing, tax avoidance and executive pay revolts – had been “difficult” for the bank, but that a new set of standards would ensure “a more successful business” for the long-term.

We must never again be in a position of rewarding people for making the bank money in a way which is unethical or inconsistent with our values”, wrote Jenkins, who inherited leadership of the bank after his predecessor, Bob Diamond, resigned in July.

Some critics, including Labour MP John Mann, have said that the bank’s founding principles of “honesty”, “integrity” and “plain-dealing” had been forgotten during Diamond’s management.

Jenkins’ memo outlined “respect, integrity, service, excellence and stewardship” as the five pillars by which Barclays would abide in the coming years.

He added, “There might be some who don’t feel they can fully buy in to an approach which so squarely links performance to the upholding of our values.

My message to those people is simple: Barclays is not the place for you. The rules have changed. You won’t feel comfortable at Barclays and, to be frank, we won’t feel comfortable with you as colleagues.”

His note provides timely reassurance that sustainability, responsibility and ethics are the only way that financial institutions will survive. Blue & Green Tomorrow’s recent Guide to Sustainable Banking 2012 outlines many banks, building societies and credit unions that have stuck by their responsible principles from day one.

Further reading:

Bob Diamonds are not forever

Barclays’ half billion “aggressive” tax avoidance

Interest in ethical options surges amid UK banking melee

Has your bank been naughty or nice this year?

The Guide to Sustainable Banking 2012

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