BusinessCompany NewsBarclays defies Higgs

Barclays defies Higgs

High street bank Barclays has flown in the face of guidelines from the Higgs report after announcing that chief executive Matt Barrett would be moving up to the position of chairman.

Link: Higgs report

The move has drawn criticism for shareholders for going against the combined code for corporate governance, which specifically advises that chief executives of companies should not then go on to become their chairmen.

The guidelines were originally included in the much-criticised Higgs report which was eventually toned down to appease business concerns. The Association of British Insurers and the National Association of Pension Funds have both said they will be looking at the bank’s explanation very closely.

Current chairman Sir Peter Middleton said in the Financial Times: ‘Matt has not been with us for very long. We want to maximise the best use of him. I’d rather a bank was run by people who know something about banking.’

John Varley is due to take over the role of chief executive.

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