Barclays bank: a sense of deja vu is creeping in … again | Nils Pratley

The restructured investment banking arm is failing to deliver healthy returns. No surprise there then. It’s a 20-year problem

Chief executives come and go at Barclays but one debate remains the same: can the bank make decent money from investment banking consistently? The question has been asked for 20 years, in which time Barclays has had seven permanent chief executives and two stand-ins.

The debate has burned most fiercely since the wild risk-taking of the early and mid-2000s turned out horribly (except for the lucky employees who had bagged their bonuses). Jes Staley, a JP Morgan veteran who has packed Barclays’ senior ranks with fellow ex-Morganites, was supposed to be the boss who would show shareholders the way to healthy returns from investment banking in a world where regulators rightly insist on fatter capital cushions.

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