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Barclays hires City grandee David Walker as chairman

by fwire  Aug 10, 2012 01:15 IST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays (BARC.L) has named David Walker, a former Bank of England and Treasury official, as its new chairman in an effort to patch up its top management team and rebuild its reputation after it became embroiled in a rate rigging scandal.

The British bank said on Thursday that Walker, a City grandee and corporate governance expert with extensive banking and investment banking experience, would become a non-executive director on September 1 and succeed Marcus Agius as chairman two months later.

Barclays was fined $453 million in June for manipulating Libor interbank lending rates in a scandal which unearthed deep problems in its relations with regulators, who have accused the bank of frequently being too aggressive.

It is also seeking a new chief executive after Bob Diamond resigned under pressure from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Bank of England, which moved in response to a public and political outcry over the scandal.

Walker is currently a senior adviser to U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N), having previously been chairman of its international operations based in London.

In addition to stints at Britain's Treasury and Bank of England he is also a former deputy chairman of Lloyds (LLOY.L) and vice chairman of insurer Legal & General (LGEN.L).

Since 2007, Walker has completed two independent reports and made recommendations regarding the private equity industry and corporate governance at financial institutions.

He also co-led the independent review of the report that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) produced into the failure of Royal Bank of Scotland.

In a letter to Barclays staff Agius said Walker would join in the process to find a new CEO for the bank.

Shares in Barclays, which have lost 12 percent of their value over the last three months, closed at 179 pence, valuing the business at about 21.9 billion pounds.

(Reporting by James Davey and Steve Slater; Editing by Alexander Smith)