The new chief executive of has had to apologise for a costly trading blunder.
As the bank released its first-quarter results, CS Venkatakrishnan said he was disappointed by the recent discovery of the error in the US which was ‘entirely preventable’.
The American banker known as Venkat took over from Jes Staley in November and has had a rocky start.
Barclays boss CS Venkatrishnan (pictured) said he was ‘disappointed’ by the discovery of a trading error in the US which he admitted was ‘entirely preventable’
Barclays has been hit by three historic scandals since he took the reins – a sell timeshare Online mis-selling debacle, the US bond-trading issue and an accusation from the Bank of England that it is ‘gaming the rules’ on pensions.
The fiascos are embarrassing for Venkat, who was chief risk officer between 2016 and 2020.
But he denied Barclays has a culture problem, saying: ‘Very strong risk management and culture is important, as well as a harmonious relationship with regulators.’
The US trading error, where Barclays sold more financial products – ‘structured notes’ – than it was allowed to, means the lender has now paused its share buyback, which would have seen £1billion of spare capital returned to investors.
Venkat stressed this was only pending the outcome of talks with US regulators, and that the buyback would probably resume in the third quarter.
‘It’s a question of when, not if,’ he said, urging investors to focus on results, which were ‘exceptional compared to our competitors’.
He said the bank would complete a full investigation into the error itself.
He declined to reveal how high up the hierarchy the probe could reach, but did not rule out clawing some pay back from former finance boss Tushar Morzaria.
First-quarter results show profits fell 6.9 per cent to £2.2billion.
It has set aside £540million to deal with the US trading issue.