July 10th, 2012
04:12 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – Flicking through Barclays’ 286-page annual report, it’s impossible to avoid a grinning former CEO Bob Diamond – once branded "the unacceptable face of banking" - making a range of pronouncements, which in the wake of the Libor rate fixing scandal now sound profoundly hollow.

Take this old chestnut from Diamond, much touted since banks were caught on the back foot during the 2008 credit crunch: "Banks need to become better citizens."

Or listen to this snippet: "When we’re at our best, we serve the real economy by doing our best for all our stakeholders: our customers and clients, the communities we serve, our people and our shareholders."

Well it turns out some of those people inside Barclays feel just as let down as those looking on from the outside.

Read: Just the start?

Bankers I have spoken to this week say staff at the investment bank - the jewel in Diamond’s Barclays crown- feel "rudderless" without a strong figure to stick up for them.

They say mistakes are on the rise and some trades haven’t been booked properly - costing the bank a "few hundred thousand [euros]."

One employee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "No-one is as motivated as they were before."

The person added, "people are leaving and they aren’t being replaced. The money just isn’t there. Clients aren’t trading as much as they were before. Generally business was bad before the Libor issue."

A spokesman said the bank had received "terrific support over the last week from clients, the board and other stakeholders."

We must continue, he added, "to demonstrate through our actions that we can live up to their expectations."

Quest: Guilty bankers should clean toilets

Barclays was handed a record fine for manipulating the Libor and Euribor interest rate floors which are used as a benchmark for pricing trillions of dollars of financial contracts worldwide.

The ensuing scandal has claimed the scalp of Barclays top three executives - including Diamond - and seen the deputy governor of the Bank of England appear before a panel of UK lawmakers to explain himself.

The UK’s serious fraud office has opened a criminal investigation, joining the U.S. Department of Justice which is also probing the matter.

Today a source close to the bank said Barclays would cover Diamond’s legal costs in the event he was investigated.

Testifying before U.K. members of parliament Tuesday, Barclays' outgoing chairman Marcus Agius said Diamond had waived his right to £20 million in bonuses and deferred compensation.

Sources at the bank say Diamond will instead get around £2 million, which includes a year's salary of £1.35 million as well as healthcare and other benefits.

Pay has been down at Barclays for some time and not just at the upper echelons of management, where a proposed £17.7 million package for Diamond this year nearly caused investor revolt.

In fact Barclays' total bonus pool for 2011 was down by a quarter whilst payments to staff at its Barclays Capital investment banking arm - the firm’s key profit driver– shrank 35% over the same period.

Some say that’s as much a reflection of the taboo culture surrounding the City of London’s bonus culture as today’s tricky trading environment.

"There’s a sense that people want a boring bank," says another Barclays staffer.

"They don’t want a bank like ours and that has to have an effect on morale. It’s hard to see where we go from here."

A separate source at Barclays dismissed speculation the bank had discussed splitting its retail and commercial arms.

"It’s madness. Would we do that when we are still searching for a CEO?" they said.

That staffer said: “Obviously lots of people are quite upset about what has happened. And all across the bank, you’ll find people calling up their clients to reassure them.”

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. latricoteuse

    These are tough times for multi-national parasites.

    July 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  2. Freedom from FEES!

    The person added, "people are leaving and they aren’t being replaced. The money just isn’t there. Clients aren’t trading as much as they were before. Generally business was bad before the Libor issue."

    Yeah, I guess when the public finds out you're screwing them they tend to clamp down on their money and it's harder for banks to siphon a profit! LOL!!

    July 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  3. Roger

    "There’s a sense that people want a boring bank," says another Barclays staffer.

    If boring and honesty run in the same circle. THEN YES, I want a boring bank!!

    July 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  4. Darth Cynic

    Morales at an all time low!?

    My how terrible it must be for these well paid and still employed people in this day and age. Low morale. Might a generous brandy soothe the rattled ego?

    The financial industry after years, or decades more like, of consistent de-regulation and laissez faire free market cheer leading spectacularly smashed the economy in 2008 through a deleterious combo of blistering incompetence, obliviousness and unmitigated greed, a mess we're still reeling from. But still they fight any credible form of regulation to check either their greed, ignorance or stupidity and still we keep discovering one scandal after another proving that their bailed out asses via public funds have learned nothing what-so-ever. They're still screwing us, still incredibly uninformed about their own operations and still fantastically stupid / reckless. Yet another example of banking malfeasance comes to light and they're bleating about their morale!?

    Awwww diddums doesn't quite project the level of contempt for their ongoing disconnectedness from the rest of the world.

    July 10, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  5. honestjoe

    It took me 15 years to convince myself that banking and the investment industry are the most corrup bunch there is. Finally, the public is waking up. The banks produce no products, they provide a service called " screw the customer". The party is over for bankers. I hope they lay off the entire industry, they are corrupt, dishonest and they are a bunch of thieves.

    July 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  6. Steve

    " I hope they lay off the entire industry, they are corrupt, dishonest and they are a bunch of thieves."
    So who is going to lend you money...?
    It's a shame to see politicians demonize folks in the financial sector in order to distract voters. Money-lenders have been demonized before and those bad feelings eventually grew into something far worse.

    July 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  7. Alex Povolotski

    Banks as "better citizens?" Are you kidding me? Ask anyone from the Wall St. and they'll tell you that the morals are non-existent there. Completely. People fall lower than their parents would think of them.

    July 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  8. ironclaws

    If morale is low – why not break out the Bolli ?

    July 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  9. BB

    You can find my sympathy in the dictionary between...

    July 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  10. JBK007

    Still can't figure out why these criminals aren't going to jail?! As for their low morale.....please!

    July 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  11. Victor

    Are we expected to feel sorry for these dudes?

    July 10, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  12. franklin

    Morale always sinks when a band of thieves gets cornered....banking without regulations that are e n f o r c e d is letting a rabid, ravenous fox guard the hen house.

    July 11, 2012 at 12:33 am |
  13. ochevidno

    In the beginning the christian church did not allow usury, because they believed it would corrupt the soul....I don't think we should go that far, but can someone please explain to me why do banks get money at 0% interest from the FED and then give out loans at 5%....its obvious that they don't do an effective check on the people who recieve loans just look at the mortgage crisis and if things start going really bad the banks just get bailed out anyway....ever wonder how to get a job at the FED it probably resmbles some mafia ritual....my solution leave only the investment banks and allow banks without the federal guarantee( at least if things get bad its their fault only)....provide direct access to the low percentage loans and cut out the middle man. If anyone wishes to express their opinion on this issue I am more than happy to discuss it.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  14. Tracy T

    I think the headline is wrong and should read :Bank morals at an all-time low."

    July 11, 2012 at 1:47 am |
  15. Big One

    I think I'm gonna puke! Poor banks.... awwww.... do you need a witto bandaide for your boo boo? awww poor banks. I'm sooo FREAKING GLAD TO HEAR YOUR FREAKING MORALE IS IN THE CRAPPER! Your deserve every bit of your morale issues.... Go pound sand American banks. You got what you deserved. Greed put you there and you want the American public to care? Pay for your imoral activity over the past 20 years. Give back what you stole from hard working Americans. Admit you're all thieves. Pay up or shut up.

    July 11, 2012 at 3:54 am |
  16. Freddy

    Time for these greed merchants to grow a set. Are we supposed to feel sorry when they weep crocodile tears? What a joke!

    July 11, 2012 at 4:17 am |
  17. English Bob

    It does make me stop and think. Whether you believe in Jesus ,or not as the case may be. He had issues with three distinct groups of people I recall. Politicians, the established church of the day and moneylenders. Fast forward 2000 years and nothings changed, and now we all seem to have issues with the same three groups. Plus ca change as they say!

    July 11, 2012 at 4:57 am |
  18. SWOT Analysis

    hmm.......good post. Really selective information you have shared

    July 11, 2012 at 6:12 am |
  19. medhat

    Strangest way to the marriage application


    July 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  20. Jonathan

    I sincerely believe that these dodgy Banker scandals are set to continue, since, a couple of years back, Directors of a business that about fifty people worked for (myself included), exploited their workers, by using holes in Employment law to withhold staff wages and ultimately cheat employees out of the money that they had worked hard to earn ( http://bobblackmanmp.info/ ).

    Despite Employment Tribunals agreeing that staff were treated badly, the High Court said that they are powerless to help because their is noting stopping this in law, whilst the local MP wasn't interested in helping.

    So, now, to rub salt in the wound, the local MP, and even Government officials simply try to kick the issue into the long grass, by claiming that it's not in the public interest to do anything about this matter, whilst refusing to have the Directors struck off, failing to introduce new laws to outlaw these kinds of sharp practices, and not even bothering to call for an inquiry into this scandal.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:13 am |
  21. BaicsBraill

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  22. icon library

    Good gradually.

    November 1, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  23. antmedicaltr

    ???? ? ????????? ??????????? ???????????? ?? ????????.

    December 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm |

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