Barclays share price up as new chairman sets out priorities
Barclays’ (LON:BASRC) share price has risen today after incoming chairman, John McFarlane, set out his priorities for the bank and chief executive Anthony Jenkins said he expected to make meaningful, albeit tough, progress in resolving issues that have hampered Barclays since the financial crisis.
In a letter to shareholders, McFarlane said today that the FTSE 100-listed lender needed to advance work on restructuring its legal entities in Britain and the US, wind down unwanted assets and achieve its targets for capital. The former Aviva chairman, who replaces Sir David Walker, added that Barclays needed to reposition and improve parts of the business which were not generating the required returns.
“We need to ensure that Barclays is an attractive investment proposition going forward. Currently we are still trading below book value and with a dividend level less than we would wish,” McFarlane noted. He also promised to speed up restructuring or exit from under-performing businesses, while also admitting the challenge ahead is “formidable”, despite his turnaround credentials.
Jenkins also said the bank would implement more cost cutting measures and shed unwanted assets this year. In a statement to Barclays annual general meeting, the CEO remarked that one of the bank’s priorities in 2015 remains settling outstanding investigations into past misconduct.
“I expect that we will make significant, though sometimes difficult, progress in this area in 2015,” Jenkins said, referring to issues including an ongoing investigation into alleged foreign exchange manipulation. “We are grateful for your continued patience and support while we deal with these matters – support which we do not take for granted,” he added.
By 14:21 BST, Barclays share price had advanced 1.46 percent to 256.70p. The stock has gained over five percent in the year to date.
As of 15:06 BST, Thursday, 23 April, Barclays share price is 257.52p.