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Barclays’ Jenkins: Don’t expect me to announce bank’s break-up

Antony Jenkins, Barclays’ new CEO, said on Monday that he does not plan to break up the bank or its operations, adding that Barclays needs to pass a “reputational test.”

Jenkins replaced former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond on Aug. 30 following Diamond’s resignation in the wake of the Libor scandal. Jenkins said he is committed to the universal banking model, which is a union of commercial and investment banking, MarketWatch reports.

Jenkins said that he plans to assess the risk that the bank’s operations may pose to its already damaged reputation as he conducts a business review, which is set to be published in the first quarter of 2013.

“We know our reputation has taken major damage in [the] last few months,” Jenkins said, according to MarketWatch. “We need to provide a portfolio of banking activities and value but also pass the reputational test of broader society. That is very, very important for our brand and our ability to do business. Have I been told by regulators to use that as a filter? No, I haven’t, but they are very interested in what we are doing here.”

Rich Ricci, the head of Barclays’ investment bank, said that the bank was reconsidering some of its operations, including its tax advisory division, as “elements of [the]…business have generated negative media and political attention,” Equities.com reports.

Jenkins also said that the business review would not only assess the financial aspect, but it would also take into account whether the business lines “pass the level of external scrutiny and reputational impact,” according to Equities.com.

Jenkins plans to eliminate the return-on-equity targets established by Diamond and to publish a flexible target rate next year.

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