Barclays Beefs Up Compliance

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On Wednesday, Barclays announced that it had hired Hector Sants as head of the bank’s new compliance and government relations team, a position that had not previously existed.

Analysts were pleased with this news, as it may mean that Barclays is finally going to take compliance more seriously and, in doing so, will avoid the hefty regulatory fines and reputational damage that have plagued it in recent years. Sants certainly is qualified–he served as chief executive of the Financial Services Authority until June– and Barclays has set up a structure that should give him some real power.

Sants will report directly to CEO Bob Diamond, and Sants’ underlings will report to him, not to their operating department heads. Morninstar continues to maintain its fair value estimate for now, and investors will be looking forward to hearing about the bank’s new strategy, which will be unveiled in February.

About Barclays

Barclays is one of the largest banks in the United Kingdom and has operations around the world. Its businesses include U.K. banking, which serves retail and business customers in the United Kingdom; Barclays Capital, a debt-focused investment bank; international banking, which serves retail and business customers in Europe, Africa, and Asia; and Barclaycard, a large credit card issuer.

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