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Barclays: Nowhere to hide

After restructuring, is Barclays' markets business the right engine for growth?

Halfway through 2017, Barclays chief executive Jes Staley told investors that: “From July 1, we are the bank that we want to be.” 

He was referring to the fact that Barclays had completed a long period of restructuring, culminating in the closure of its non-core division, so it made sense.

But it is also the kind of declaration that can end up as a rod for one’s back, giving as it does a clear point from which to judge future performance. It is early days, but with that in mind, how does it stack up so far?

There is no escaping the fact that the bank is subject to a huge distraction in the form of the supervisory investigation that is hanging over Staley himself after his intervention in a whistle blowing incident. At the time of writing, UK regulators had not yet delivered their verdict, although it is expected soon. 

Some bankers say the issue dominates everything inside the firm, producing a sense of paralysis.

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