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Barclays Group Chief Executive Antony Jenkins has stressed the importance of regulatory and cultural reform in the financial services industry at a conference in Brussels.

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We at Barclays are in the middle of a root and branch change to the way we do business, the way we interact with wider society and the markets in which we operate.
Antony Jenkins, Barclays Group Chief Executive

At the annual European Financial Services Conference which took place today, Antony also highlighted the need to build sustainable, long-term growth across Europe.

Guests and participants at the event included leaders from the financial sector, academia and government, including Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, and Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the European Central Bank.

Speaking at the conference, Antony addressed the topic of regulatory reform, focusing on the need to ensure that banks are resolvable and can fail without systemic contagion.

“Underlying all of this is the fundamental importance of making the financial system safer – and accepting that banks should meet the costs of future crises, not taxpayers.”

Antony added that the sector is now much more resilient, with significantly improved capital, liquidity and leverage standards.

But regulatory reform in itself is not sufficient, Antony insisted, if it is not accompanied by cultural reform from within the sector.

“We at Barclays are in the middle of a root and branch change to the way we do business, the way we interact with wider society and the markets in which we operate.”

Concluding his speech, Antony discussed ways to build sustainable and long-term growth across the continent, homing in on lending – specifically the importance of achieving a better balance between bank and non-bank finance – and on tackling the youth unemployment crisis that has beset not only Europe but also the rest of the world.

The conference is in its 12th year and is co-hosted by Barclays, Italian-listed companies association Assonime, and international communication consultancy Kreab Gavin Anderson. Other sessions at the event addressed issues such as banking models and rules, how financial services can serve the needs of society, and opportunities across the Atlantic.

Read the speech by Antony Jenkins (PDF, 207KB)Read the speech by Antony Jenkins (PDF, 207KB) (new window)
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