LONDON Feb 3 Barclays Plc's finance
director Chris Lucas is to announce on Monday that he plans to
retire, people familiar with the matter said, as the British
bank struggles to put several scandals behind it.
Lucas, in his early fifties, has been finance director for a
tough six years that spanned the global financial crisis, but
the past nine months have been particularly difficult.
He is one of four current and former employees being
investigated by UK authorities regarding a capital injection by
Qatar in 2008.
The sources said his departure was not linked to
investigations into Qatar. Barclays declined to comment.
He is also the only one of Barclays' executive directors
still in his post after the bank was fined $450 million in June
for rigging the benchmark Libor interest rate.
New chief executive Antony Jenkins is attempting to move on
from the bank's troubles, which also include the mis-selling of
financial products, but that is proving a challenge.
The Financial Times reported on Friday that UK authorities
are looking into allegations that Barclays lent Qatar Holding
money to invest as part of the rescue fundraising four years
UK rules forbid a public company from giving financial
assistance in order to acquire its shares.
Barclays has appointed headhunters to search for a
replacement for Lucas who will stay in his position until a
successor is found, which could take up to a year, the two
He has had health problems and although that has not
affected his ability to do his job, it influenced his decision
to retire, one of the sources said.
He said Lucas told Jenkins and the board about his decision
just before Christmas.
"It's a new era (and) he sees it as the right time to allow
someone else to drive that new strategy," one said.
Chief Executive Bob Diamond, Chairman Marcus Agius and Chief
Operating Officer Jerry del Missier all left last year following
the Libor scandal.
Lucas, who joined the Barclays board in April 2007 from
PricewaterhouseCoopers, was paid almost 4 million pounds for
Jenkins will unveil plans to streamline and revive Barclays
on Feb. 12 and has already said the bank will need to improve
its culture and standards.
The CEO said on Friday he will not take a bonus for 2012,
saying he should "bear an appropriate degree of accountability"
for the difficult year the bank endured.
Jenkins and his chairman David Walker, are likely to be
grilled on standards at the bank by UK lawmakers when they
appear before the UK banking inquiry on Tuesday.