Former regulator to help restore battered reputation for Barclays

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BARCLAYS has appointed Hector Sants, former boss of regulator the Financial Services Authority, to oversee its compliance and relationship with governments and regulators as it looks to repair its battered reputation.

Barclays said Mr Sants will oversee compliance activities across the bank in all the regions in which it does business. The appointment marks a change to the bank’s structure with all compliance staff reporting to one individual for the first time.

Mr Sants in turn will report directly to chief executive Antony Jenkins, who is overhauling the bank after it was fined £290m by regulators investigating the manipulation of Libor and other key interest rates.

The affair led to the departure of the previous CEO, Bob Diamond.

Mr Jenkins said the appointment of Mr Sants underlined his commitment to creating a culture at Barclays where compliance is “universally welcomed and observed”.

Barclays said Mr Sants will be responsible for ensuring the conduct of staff is consistent with the bank’s values, “as well as the spirit and letter of the law and the expectations of regulators in the geographies where Barclays operates”.

“With a huge wealth of private and public sector experience and having most recently led one of the world’s pre-eminent regulatory authorities, I can think of no more suitably qualified person than Hector Sants to take on these challenges,” Mr Jenkins said in a statement.

Last month the bank’s current head of compliance, Mike Walters, told British lawmakers examining bank standards that he didn’t believe it was the responsibility of Barclay’s compliance function to make the bank compliant.

“Complying is part of the culture but compliance is the responsibility of everyone at Barclays,” he said.

Mr Walters will take up the new role of managing director for conduct and risk following Mr Sants’ appointment on January 21.