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Agius: FSA said Barclays governance was ‘best in class’

Marcus Agius Barclays TSC

Barclays chairman Marcus Agius has rejected claims that Barclays was being “wrecked” by poor corporate governance, claiming he was told by an FSA official it was actually the “best in class”.

Last week, former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond denied claims the FSA expressed a lack of confidence in the bank’s senior executive team earlier this year but admits the regulator had concerns about “culture issues” further down its management structure.

During a Treasury select committee evidence session this morning, committee chair Andrew Tyrie asked Agius (pictured) whether shareholders complaining that Barclays was being “wrecked” by poor corporate governance had a case.

Agius said when the FSA undertook a governance review at Barclays “in recent times”, they found it to be satisfactory.

He added: “I can go further if I can break a confidence. On the way to the lift to show the official down, she said ‘I usually fear these interviews with banks because I never had good news to give. I was happy with yours. I did have good news on the governance of Barclays as far as we see it. In fact I would rank you best in class’. This is from the FSA.”


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There are 12 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Its like the gunfight at the OK Corral.

    Everyone gets hit.

  2. Best in Class?

    School for Scoundrels doubtless…

  3. Of course the FSA thought Barclays were ‘best in class’….all their mates work there !

  4. Best in class?? There may be trouble ahead then. Unless they were in a class of their own?

  5. Now just imagine this and smile. What if the FSA had a regulator?

  6. How many in the ‘Class’ one?

  7. Being best in class is very, very, worrying!!! This indeed shows how poor the FSA where/are in their ‘light touch’ regulation and STILL the light has not shone on the FSA and their ‘conflict of interest’. Shame on the financial papers & journalists for not highlighting or investigating the FSA role. Perhaps they are scared of being regulated themselves?

  8. Can you hear the echo of laughter. This couldn’t have been written by John Cleese. No one would buy the script, too far fetched, this would never be accepted by the viewer. At this point Basil starts beating him over the head with a branch….too far fetched you say?

  9. Barclays, together with HSBC, never took a penny of taxpayers money during the World crisis. Their governance model, together with financial provision, including tier one capital, ensured relative success through the difficult times.
    Libor fixing took place, apparently with the tacit knowledge / agreement of the Bank of England – a situation, incidentally that was aimed at commercial fixing and not to customer detriment (it could be argued that customers may actually have benefited at times).
    The governance model was probably best in class. Banks have a lot to answer for but on this one they adhere to the high level governance code which includes director / chairman challenges, risk committees, audit committees, etc.
    and no…..I am not a regulator!

  10. this is going to end like Resevoir Dogs.

  11. Mervyn King was on Radio 4 atr lunchtime telling us that the culture of retail banking was to put teh customer first.
    Now there IS a man in touch with how bankers treat customers.
    We know that banks apparently do not need to do fact finds or suitability letters to their customers when they sell them insurance bonds to replace their deposits. Is THAT putting teh customer first?

  12. ALL UK banks took and are taking taxpayers money in the form of Bank of England liquidity shoring up their balance sheets. They get their money for virtually nothing and lend it at huge rates on credit cards and they horde it keeping it away from business

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