Barclays tells staff “commit to new values or leave”

The new boss of Barclays Bank has told his workforce that they must sign up to a new set of banking values – or quit

In a memo to 140,000 employees, Antony Jenkins – who took the company reins as chief executive in August 2012 – said that banking had “lost its way” and become “too aggressive.”

The memo laid out plans to tie bonuses to ethical behaviour and indicated that performance would be assessed against a new ‘purpose and values’ framework.

“I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of you … will enthusiastically support this move,” Jenkins said in the memo. “But there might be some who don’t feel they can fully buy into an approach which so squarely links performance to the upholding of our values.

“My message to those people is simple: Barclays is not the place for you. The rules have changed. You won’t feel comfortable at Barclays and, to be frank, we won’t feel comfortable with you as colleagues.”

The revelation comes amid ongoing reports of scandal within the top five UK banks, in particular in June last year, when Barclays was fined £290m for rigging Libor interest rates.

Critics have claimed that Jenkins’ actions are merely a PR stunt designed to allay the concerns of bank account holders considering moving their money elsewhere. According to a recent YouGov survey, as many as 14 million people will switch their bank accounts in 2013.

Jenkins will unveil his strategic plans on 12 February 2013.