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By Alex Brummer
19 July 2014
The deeply sombre memorandum sent to Barclays’ 140,000 staff last month came straight from the top. In it, the Oxford-educated chief executive Antony Jenkins, who had got the job two years ago promising an ethical revolution, admitted that the Quaker-founded bank had, once again, been misbehaving.
This time, the malpractice centred on the appropriately named but little understood ‘dark pools’ — a secretive marketplace where big-league investors conducted share deals far from public view, boosting the bank’s profits at the expense of ordinary customers.
‘These are serious charges that allege a grave failure to live up to the culture at Barclays we are trying to create,’ Jenkins asserted. ‘I will not tolerate any circumstances in which our clients are lied to or misled, and any instances I discover will be dealt with severely.’
Strong words — but very familiar ones.