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Like all of the major UK banks, Barclays has had its run-ins with regulators on both sides of the Atlantic. Due to these ’legacy litigations‘, chief executive Antony Jenkins has felt obliged to turn down a potential £2.7 million bonus, after a combination of Libor-rigging, PPI and interest-rate swaps mis-selling. These three major indiscretions by the company have undermined its efforts to reposition itself as the retail-client-friendly face of UK banking. The bank’s commitment to change has also resulted in the recent announcement that it will be shrinking its investment banking division by up to 400 people. This is a new headcount-reduction number on top of the 3700 already stated in 2013.
However, some old habits die hard, and Barclays has been the most prolific bank for assisting in stock listings and IPOs. The firm’s corporate finance department was involved with seven of the fifteen new companies that came to the market in 2013.
When Barclays’ figures are released next Tuesday, markets are expecting earnings per share, sales and operating profits to be lower than in 2012. However, pre-tax profits could jump from £797 million for 2012 to £5.6 billion.