Profound words from Jes Staley, Barclays Group Chief Executive Officer in his 2015 Results statement, 1 March 2015.
“To conclude, I want to talk about culture and talk about values. More than 300 years ago, Barclays was founded by a group of Quakers. Those first Barclays bankers earned the trust of English merchants, and those bankers felt responsible as stewards of that trust. The bank, early on, built an exceptional reputation for integrity. Barclays became renowned for the principled way it did business. If I achieve nothing else during my tenure at Barclays, I want to play my part in the continuing restoration of the culture and the values that underpinned the founding of Barclays, more than three centuries ago. I joined banking back in 1979, because I was excited to be a part of a respected profession: the profession of banking.
Being a banker back then was a little bit like being a lawyer, or a doctor. The practitioners of the profession of banking were skilled at understanding the complex topics of capital, credit, savings, and investor returns. They were highly regarded as they used that knowledge to help consumers, corporations, investors, and governments, to navigate, with transparency and clarity, the world of finance. It was a profession because it was moored to a commitment for integrity. It is fair to question whether bankers lost their moral compass during the nineties and first decade of this century, because of the single minded pursuit of personal wealth. A company that retains the loyalty of its employees solely based on compensation is a company that gambles with its institutional culture.
I want Barclays to be a bank where our employees choose to work here because they believe in the institution, and its intrinsically valuable role in society. This is a mind-set I want to reinvigorate in everyone here, from branch colleagues working on the high street in Manchester, to the M&A banker working in New York. Banking, at Barclays, will again be a profession and it will be up to all of us here to promote that goal internally, and to find the people that want to join Barclays because they want to be part of that great profession. The profession of banking."