Barclays plc

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Barclays is a British multinational investment bank and financial services company, which conducts business across the UK (53.1%), America (35.3%), Europe (7.9%), Asia (2.5%), Africa & Middle East (1.2%). Its activity is organised via 3 sectors:

  • Commercial banking: 1,305 branches worldwide;[2017]
  • Financing, investment, and market banking: acquisition and project financing, portfolio management, transactions on the stock, interest, exchange, and raw material markets, stock trading, merger-acquisition consulting, investment capital, etc.;
  • Credit card issuing.

Corporate Political Engagement Rating:[1] Transparency International    B  

BankTrack-Fossil-Bank.svg Financing Fossil Fuels:[2]
 Tar Sands: $576m   Arctic Oil: $483m   Offshore: $2.90bn   Fracking: $3.90bn   LNG Export: $466m   Coal Mining: $157m   Coal Power: $1.60bn 

Company

Shareholders

Total float: 98.8%
Source: MarketScreener.svg, Mar.2020; Morningstar, Nasdaq

Structure

ToDo:

Private Bank

ToDo: Private Bank, Wealth, WP

DDG, DDG

Wealth & Investments

Barclays-Wealth.svg

Gerrard Investment Management Ltd: Barclays acquired Gerrard from Old Mutual Ltd,ref,ref and Gerrard became a division of then newly-formed Barclays Wealth.ref

Timelines

ToDo: Pics
ToDo: Some Interesting links: de-tenants.org, Fossil fuel backing, BankTrack Coal database

Articles

  • Jan.20.2019: Investment banking: The battle for Barclays. The UK lender has wrangled for decades over whether to maintain its investment bank. Now activist investor Edward Bramson is trying to force the issue, saying Barclays would do better to focus on its UK retail operation and its credit card business.. David Crow, Stephen Morris, The Financial Times. See also Barclays @ FT
  • Jan.15.2019: Barclays’ energy policy review: ‘Half measures’ not good enough, says BankTrack. BankTrack’s assessment of the measures introduced by Barclays, to cover its “necessary financing” going forward for carbon intensive and high impact sources of energy, finds the bank failing most starkly on its approach towards financing for tar sands. By lending to companies like TransCanada, Barclays is supporting massive fossil fuel expansion projects that the climate cannot afford. BankTrack.
  • Jan.06.2019: Fraud trial of former Barclays bosses puts SFO under scrutiny. Serious Fraud Office will hope major case starting this week is not another high-profile failure. A long-awaited fraud trial of 4 former Barclays executives will begin this week over charges related to a £12bn rescue package secured from investors including Qatar at the height of the financial crisis. The trial will also put the SFO’s reputation on the line, after two of its high-profile cases were scrapped this year alone. Barclays still faces the threat of a £1.5bn civil case over the Qatar funding later this year. The case is being brought by the businesswoman Amanda Staveley through her firm PCP Capital Partners, alleging fraudulent misrepresentation and deceit over the terms given to potential investors of the emergency fundraising. Kalyeena Makortoff, The Guardian.
  • Dec.19.2018: Barclays fined $15m over whistleblower. New York regulators have fined Barclays $15 million after concluding an investigation into the attempted unmasking of a whistleblower by Jes Staley, the bank’s chief executive. British regulators concluded in May that Mr Staley improperly directed Barclays’ security team to identify a whistleblower who raised concerns about the bank’s appointment of a particular executive. James Dean, The Times.
  • Oct.01.2018: Solar panels burn hole at Barclays. Barclays is facing a £38.5 million bill to compensate people over solar panel loan mis-selling by businesses that brokered its finance deals. Barclays Partner Finance, a subsidiary of the bank, has reported a 15-fold increase in cash set aside for customer redress after commissioning external solicitors to review its liabilities. The Times revealed in May that Barclays faced paying compensation after solar salesman had misled households into taking out its loans to fund rooftop solar panels. About 900,000 households in the UK have solar panels installed. The Financial Ombudsman Service received a surge in complaints last year from people who typically had been promised that the panels would “pay for themselves”. In fact, the loan repayments often exceeded the financial benefits of the panels. The ombudsman named BPF as one of the lenders most frequently involved in complaints cases. Between 2011 and 2015 it provided “point of sale” loans to finance rooftop solar panels. Emily Gosden, The Times.
  • Jul.25.2018: The public is being left in the dark about financial crime prosecutions. Earlier this year a crown court dismissed fraud charges against Barclays, dealing a potentially fatal blow to the only UK prosecution of a bank for financial crisis-era wrongdoing. Due to restrictions on media reporting, the reasons for the dismissal are unknown, meaning the public has been left in the dark about why the UK’s most significant financial crime prosecution of the past decade has collapsed. Unfortunately, such secrecy is commonplace in major economic crime cases where linked trials are the norm and judges are fearful of jury prejudice. ... Rahul Rose, Corruption Watch, The Justice Gap.
  • Apr.20.2018: Barclays CEO Jes Staley faces fine over whistleblower incident. Barclays’ £3.9m-a-year chief executive, Jes Staley, is to keep his job despite facing a reprimand and a fine from regulators over his attempts to unmask an internal whistleblower. The whistleblowing involved letters sent to the Board in 2016 raising concerns about the recruitment of Tim Main as head of the bank’s financial institutions group in New York. Staley tried to hunt down the author of the letters, using the bank’s internal security unit. Barclays acknowledged that Staley will now be fined but said regulators are not alleging that he acted with a lack of integrity or that he lacks fitness and propriety to continue in his role as chief executive. However, [the regulators] have proposed that each of Barclays Bank plc and Barclays Bank UK plc will be subject to requirements to report to the FCA and PRA on certain aspects of their whistleblowing programmes. Institutional Shareholder Services called for a vote in favour of Staley at next month’s AGM. Patrick Collinson, The Guardian.
  • Apr.12.2018: Barclays Ex-Security Head Asked to Leave After Expenses Probe. Troels Oerting, Barclays plc's former head of information security, was asked to leave the bank after he was found to have billed personal expenses to the company. When the bank began probing Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley's attempt to unmask a whistle-blower, it discovered the unrelated matter of Oerting’s improper expenses. Oerting, who has left, has since been named head of the World Economic Forum's global center for cyber security, and started last week. Stephen Morris, Bloomberg.
  • Mar.30.2018: $2,000,000,000: Barclays fine for sale of US toxic mortgages. American prosecutors fined Barclays $2bn yesterday as the bank agreed to settle claims that it fraudulently mis-sold toxic mortgage products before the financial crisis. The fine is the latest in a long line of penalties issued by American and British financial watchdogs relating to banks’ conduct before the crash in 2008. Complex financial instruments known as residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), which have been blamed for causing the financial crisis, are at the heart of the cases. Some securities were built upon subprime mortgages — risky loans agreed with poor customers that had a high risk of default. When a credit squeeze forced these customers to default in large numbers, the value of many securities plunged. Barclays has substantial investment banking operations in the USA, where it bought the remnants of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc after its collapse in 2008. The US Department of Justice accused Barclays of engaging in a fraudulent scheme to sell 36 deals to investors between 2005–2007. Barclays denied the charges and refused to settle during negotiations with the DoJ. Jes Staley, Barclays chief executive, described the settlement as “fair and proportionate”. Ian Gordon, an analyst at Investec, said that the settlement was “good news” for Barclays and had come much earlier than expected. James Dean, TheTimes.
  • Mar.10.2018: Court backs Barclays in battle over pension split. Former Barclays staff have lost their fight to prevent the bank offloading responsibility for past pension promises away from its core retail banking business. The High Court yesterday approved the bank’s ringfencing proposals and dismissed concerns that its pension fund members could be disadvantaged. The Barclays pension scheme is one of the biggest in the private sector, with about 250,000 members. Almost 100 members of the pension fund, which has a £7.2bn shortfall, had registered objections with the court. Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court, said that his initial concerns had been "completely assuaged" and that alternative plans, such as breaking up the fund into two schemes, would be "entirely unworkable". The govt is forcing banks to ringfence their British deposit-taking divisions with their own capital and board to make the financial system safer and to reduce the risk of taxpayer-funded bailouts in the wake of the financial crisis of 2007/09. Barclays slashed promised repair payments to the scheme as part of the restructuring plan, but pledged up to £9bn of assets that could be accessed in the event that the investment banking division failed. John Ralfe, a pensions consultant, said the judge was wrong to say a break up of the pension fund was unworkable, because it had been done before. The Times, Patrick Hosking

References

  1. ^ Corporate Political Engagement Index 2018. The new index of 104 multi-national companies, many of whom regularly meet with govt, has found nearly 75% are failing to adequately disclose how they engage with politicians. Only one company received the highest grade, with the average grade being "E" – representing poor standards in transparency. Transparency International UK, Nov.2018.
  2. ^ Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2020. The new Report shows financial support for the Fossil Fuel Industry has increased every year since the Paris Agreement was adopted in Dec.2015. Again, the big USA banks dominate; again, JPMorgan Chase leads the pack, with Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Bank of America close on their heels. These 4 banks alone are responsible for 30% of all fossil fuel financing out of the 35 major global banks since the Paris Agreement was adopted. Rainforest Action Network, Mar.20.2019.