The Guardian reported in February this year that Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays Bank,had said in a press conference, "We get it, we are changing the way we do business". He added that the bank would put ethics above earnings, and unveiled his grand plan, "Project Transform"; this was a management jargon acronym, standing for Turnaround, Return Acceptable Numbers and Sustain Forward Momentum, all designed to restore Barclays` reputation in the wake of Libor-fixing, PPI mis-selling and the other scandals and scams it was involved in.
In view of this week`s news, the acronym may need some tweaking:
T - Targets, like the compensation to income ratio target of 35%, to be ignored.
R - Reduce staff numbers by 40,000, with "a vision for more technology".
A - Avoid the EU cap on bonuses.
N - No change to the banking culture.
S - Shareholders to be tapped "for £6bn to bolster its financial strength".
F - Fall in profits to be expected, in view of possible fines for fraudulent actions by staff.
O - Obfuscate when caught out, as in spouting jargon about the need "to push harder".
R - Reward staff with 41% of income in case bonuses paid not sufficient.
M - Manipulate the £3tn-a-day currency markets.
In addition to the Barclays` scandal there is the disappearance of our main ethical bank, so there could not possibly be a more opportune time for Labour to propose the creation of a state-owned bank after the election, one in which taxpayers could place some trust. There doesn`t appear to be one around at the moment which deserves it!