Barclays executives have warned the Government that breaking up its universal banking structure could force it to move abroad.
According to the Financial Times, chief executive John Varley said yesterday that the bank’s model had proved its resilience through the financial crisis, adding that evidence to justify break-ups would have to be “empirical, unemotional and thorough enough not to cause unintended consequences.”
When asked whether Barclays would move overseas if the Government went ahead with this strategy, Varley said: “We have planned carefully.”
While chairman Marcus Agius added: “I am sure all banks are considering what their options are.”
The paper says Barclays executives are saying privately that the bank would prefer to sell off its UK business and move its headquarters abroad than be broken up by the coalition.
The Government has appointed a commission on banking to spend the next year determining whether universal banks should be broken up into their retail and investment arms.