Barclays may reduce its lending in the UK should regulation force it to meet financial strength targets at a faster pace than it would prefer, the bank's chief executive has claimed.
Lenders were told last week they must meet a three per cent leverage ratio set by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
The regulator told Barclays it currently falls short of that target by 0.5 percentage points and gave it until the end of July to reveal the method it will implement to close the gap.
Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins said the company would reach the target by 2015 and the move to speed up the process could cause harm to its domestic business and firms that need to borrow money.
“We have options to accelerate with minor income effects, but an aggressive acceleration requirement from the PRA would require additional actions," he said.
These actions would reduce lending to the UK and other economies, which is something Mr Jenkins said he would "want to avoid”.
By Gary Cooper