Barclays “considering options” following calls for bank break-up, reports claim

9 August 2010

Barclays Bank is “considering” its options over remaining in the UK following the launch of the government’s consultation into the break-up of large financial institutions.

The authority’s Commission on Banking is evaluating whether global banks should be broken up into smaller firms to increase stability within the financial industry.

Marcus Agius, chairman at Barclays, who was quoted by the Daily Mail, said: “We’re not being proscriptive about what might or might not happen, but any bank, all banks, are responsibly considering their options.”

Barclays recently released its statistics for the first six months of 2010, which showed that the bank’s pre-tax profits went up by 44 per cent to reach £3.9 billion.

John Varley, chief executive at the bank, who was quoted by the Financial Times, said that the institution’s global infrastructure had demonstrated how it could still be profitable during times of instability.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered has hinted that it is also contemplating looking outside of London for the location of its base.

Peter Sands, chief executive at the firm, said that the arguments for remaining in London have “weakened”.

By Jim Ottewill

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