Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS) did not take long to appoint a new chief executive. The CEO is Antony Jenkins. He ran the retail part of the financial firm, so he was far from the operations involved in Libor rate rigging. His predecessor, Robert E. Diamond Jr., was not only thrown out, but his testimony before a Parliament committee has been questioned as to its truthfulness. That only caused the British government to aggressively expand its investigation about Libor.
The U.K. Serious Fraud Office has become involved, which means that the Barclays inquiries have taken on a criminal aspect. This may not be the worst of it. U.S. agencies likely will press similar cases. Analysts estimate that fines and settlements with governments and shareholders may cost billions of dollars. Jenkins faces years running a bank that is in one kind of trouble or another. Looked at that way, his decision is a very brave one.
Douglas A. McIntyre