LONDON (ShareCast) - Sir David Walker, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, and described by The Times as 'a veteran City grandee', has been named as the new Chairman of scandal-hit bank Barclays. His arrival caps a career that has included stints at the Treasury, Lloyds Bank, Legal & General and latterly Morgan Stanley. Walker joins a bank that has been accused by its own regulator of suffering an endemic cultural weakness. As well as being forced to pay a record £290 million in fines over the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal, the bank fell foul of shareholders over its bumper bonus deals for investment bankers and confidence among consumers was dented by mis-sold payment protection insurance, the Times says.
Some eyebrows may be raised in the City at Walker's age - he is 72 - the Times notes, but his appointment has gained the approval of some major investors - such as Legal & General Investment Management - and some consumer groups, such as Saga.
On the subject of LIBOR - the London Inter-bank Offered Rate - Martin Wheatley, the financier who has been asked by the Government to head an inquiry into how the key benchmark borrowing rate is set, will publish an initial discussion paper on Friday. The Telegraph said it will include suggestions on how to restore trust in the system following the recent rate-rigging scandal that saw Barclays hit with a £290m fine for LIBOR manipulation. Quoting the Press Association news-wire, the Telegraph said stakeholders such as banks will have four weeks to submit written responses to the proposals.
Meanwhile, Tracey McDermott, described by The Independent as the 'nemesis' of former Barclays Chief Executive Officer Bob Diamond, has been named as the Financial Services Agency's (FSA) new prosecutor. McDermott is the new head of enforcement at the FSA. The City watchdog cited McDermott's 'impressive work' over the past 16 months as its acting director of the enforcement and financial crime division, the Indy notes.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has been going in to bat on behalf of UK bank Standard Chartered in New York, the Financial Times reports. Osborne has spoken to Tim Geithner, the US Treasury secretary, three times in the space of two days over the New York regulatory probe into Standard Chartered in a sign of the British governments mounting concern. The Chancellor spoke to Geithner on Tuesday, Wednesday and then again on Wednesday night amid worries about the potential damage the investigation could do to the reputation of the City of London, according to the FT.