Barclays: Two steps forward, one step back
Losing your chief executive in messy circumstances is never a good look, but Barclays does at least have momentum in its investment bank as it looks for a fresh start in 2022.
Barclays headed into 2021 hoping for great things. The pandemic year of 2020 saw the bank – and its chief executive at the time, Jes Staley – vindicated in its faith in its investment banking business in the face of some shareholder opposition. The decision by activist Ed Bramson to throw in the towel in May seemed to confirm that view.
A swathe of management rejigs and hires in the investment bank in the summer – including an important statement in the promotion of newish Americas equity capital markets heads Kristin DeClark and Taylor Wright to head all of capital markets globally – looked to have laid the groundwork for more momentum to come.
And at the end of the third quarter of 2021, many areas of the investment bank were growing well. Equities trading had bucked the trend at peers in continuing to rise, with revenues up 29% on a trailing 12-month basis compared with the previous period.