Septuagenarian charged with rebuilding Barclays’ reputation after the Libor scandal says priority is finding a new chief executive
Sir David Walker, the septuagenarian charged with rebuilding Barclays’ reputation in the wake of the Libor scandal, says finding a new chief executive is his number one priority, though a rewrite of the bank’s pay policy is also on the cards.
“This is a good time to be reforming pay,” Walker told the Observer last week.
“We may still suffer some breakages [employees leaving] but if people are only doing it for the money they are probably not the people we need.”
At the bank’s annual meeting in April, nearly a third of investors failed to back the remuneration report, which included a £17m pay package for then chief executive Bob Diamond, and the cost of a £5.7m tax bill for the US-born banker, who quit after the £290m Libor fine.
Walker, who has 50 years’ experience as policymaker and banker, led a review of banking culture for the Labour government in the aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis. He plays down the need for an overhaul: “The board absolutely does not need a clearout, but it does need to supplemented. Three significant roles have gone – the chairman, the chief executive and the chairman of the remuneration committee.”
Walker is expected to stay for three years – by which time he will be 75. He says his age will not hinder him: “I’m up for it.”