By Michael Northcott Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Barclays recruits top-dog lawyer to review culture

The Spread Eagle has hired one of the City's biggest legal figures to conduct an internal review of the bank's culture and practices.

The Libor scandal has hit Barclays the hardest so far, as it is the first bank to have come forward admitting that the interest rate fixing was going on amongst its traders. But now, to try and bury the hatchet on this particular debacle, the bank has brought in an expert to lead an ‘independent business practices review’. Anthony Salz, who is now vice-chairman at Rothschild, will lead the review with a team of dedicated staff and a professional services firm behind him. 

Salz was actually a corporate lawyer with one of the world’s largest law firms, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, for more than 30 years, and for the last 10 was the firm’s senior partner. Perhaps bringing in one of the City’s most accomplished lawyers will be a breath of fresh air for the trading floors. Commenting on his appointment, Salz said: ‘I very much hope that this review will significantly assist Barclays in rebuilding trust and reaffirming its position as one of our leading institutions.’ That’ll take some doing, Ant…

The announcement comes amid rumours that former Treasury minister Lord O’Donnell is the front-runner to succeed former chairman of Barclays Marcus Agius, although O’Donnell claims nobody from the bank has actually approached him for discussions about the role. He has also been favourite for taking over as governor of the Bank of England next year, but, since money might talk for this career civil servant looking for some decent wedge to top up his pension, we reckon he’d probably go for Barclays. Those millions won’t grab themselves, will they?

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