Sunday 6 February 2011

Barclays the Bank of the Future?

Being a Sunday, my attention was drawn to this article in the Sunday Telegraph. Which is not really an interview with Bob Diamond but a piece on the future of Barclays which has clearly been done with quite a few insiders chipping in.

It makes for an interesting read, BarCap is talked down (as you would expected of insiders keen not to show Barclays is a one trick pony) and the plan for Barclays Wealth is bigged up as if Wealth is some small time show instead of a great business already. The referral to Project gamma inside of Barclays Wealth gives it good credibility though.

There is also talk of not having a bad bank inside Barclays, again no great surprise form the Bank that refuses to mark assets to market and remains happily opaque which has served it well right through the crisis.

Also interesting is the note that Bob's style is so similar to Varleys in application, something that could not be less true. A brash New Yorker the same and an urbane English lawyer; just nonsense.

The final giveaway that this has been informed too much by the 'flaks' (Barclays PR's et al) is that Bob has only taken one of his side-kicks with him. The truth is that the UK Commercial bank is entirely run by ex-Barcap staff and all the main management have been cleared out in the last 18 months - its a Barcap takeover for sure.

Perhaps journalists when trying to get a story should try and speak to some people who are not onside, but then again, they are looking forward to all those interviews with Bob Diamond over the next fwe years aren't they?


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, refusing to mark-to-market, that was Enrons trick. That and not producing balance sheets.

Plenty of ex Enron types at BarCap.

Steven_L said...

I was eyeing them at 120p or so but thought I'd missed the boat.

They are looking like a range trade now, buy at 265p, sell at 365p.

Budgie said...

This my be off topic, or not, depending. The government should sack all the RBS directors, break up the bank and sell it piecemeal, using asset sales to pay off liabilities. And then hint to the other banks that the same could happen to them unless they get their act together. Otherwise the banks will keep on taking the piss.