Five questions answered on the Barclays' resignation

Chris Lucas steps down, six months earlier than planned.

Barclay’s finance director, Chris Lucas, confirmed today he is to step down from his role, six months earlier than planned. We answer five questions on his resignation.

Why is Lucas stepping down?

In February the 52-year-old Lucas announced plans to step down as Barclay’s finance director in February 2014. However, he is bowing out six months early due to ill health.

In a statement he said: “"My health was a key factor behind my decision to step down which we announced in February. Whilst I had hoped to be able to continue working until early next year it is now clear to me that with my health as it is this will no longer be possible.”

Lucas has been working at Barclays for the second time in his career, after being employed at the bank as a global relationship partner between 1999 and 2004.

What else did he say?

Lucas went on to say that he wants to do right by the bank and is happy he is leaving it financially robust.

"I want to do the right thing by Barclays, my family, and myself, and therefore I have reached the difficult decision to step down sooner. I feel confident that I leave Barclays financially robust and well placed to continue to serve its customers, clients, shareholders and other stakeholders," he said.

In what situation is Lucas leaving Barclays?

Currently, the bank is looking to raise £5.8bn from shareholders through a rights issue as part of a plan to plug a £13bn "gap" that it needs to meet new rules set by the Bank of England.

Who will replace Lucas as finance director?

The position has already gone to Tushar Morzaria, chief financial officer of JP Morgan Chase’s corporate and investment banking division. Morzaria, who is currently based in New York, wasn’t due to start his new role until January 2014. Now he will start on October 15.

Until then Peter Estlin, Barclays' Financial Controller, will be acting finance director.

What else has the bank said?

Commenting on Estlin’s new temporary role, the bank said: "Peter is deeply familiar with all aspects of the Group's finances, including the capital raising,"

Barclays Bank. Photograph: Getty Images

Heidi Vella is a features writer for Nridigital.com

Photo: Getty
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Will the House of Lords block Brexit?

Process, and a desire to say "I told you so" will be the real battle lines. 

It’s the people versus the peers, at least as far as some overly-excited Brexiteers are concerned. The bill to trigger Article 50 starts its passage through the House of Lords today, and with it, a row about the unelected chamber and how it ought to behave as far as Brexit is concerned.

This week will, largely, be sound and fury. More peers have signed up to speak than since Tony Blair got rid of the bulk of hereditary peers, triggering a 200-peer long queue of parliamentarians there to rage against the dying of the light, before, inevitably, the Commons prevailed over the Lords.

And to be frank, the same is ultimately going to happen with Article 50. From former SDPers, now either Labour peers or Liberal Democrat peers, who risked their careers over Europe, to the last of the impeccably pro-European Conservatives, to committed Labour and Liberal politicians, there are a number of pro-Europeans who will want to make their voices heard before bowing to the inevitable. Others, too, will want to have their “I told you so” on record should it all go belly-up.

The real battle starts next week, when the bill enters committee stage, and it is then that peers will hope to extract concessions from the government, either through defeat in the Lords or the threat of defeat in the Lords. Opposition peers will aim to secure concessions on the process of the talks, rather than to frustrate the exit.

But there are some areas where the government may be forced to give way. The Lords will seek to codify the government’s promise of a vote on the deal and to enshrine greater parliamentary scrutiny of the process, which is hard to argue against, and the government may concede that quarterly statements to the House on the process of Brexit are a price worth paying, and will, in any case, be a concession they end up making further down the line anyway.

But the big prize is the rights of EU citizens already resident here.  The Lords has the advantage of having the overwhelming majority of the public – and the promises of every senior Leaver during the referendum campaign – behind them on that issue. When the unelected chamber faces down the elected, they like to have the weight of public opinion behind them so this is a well-chosen battleground.

But as Alex Barker explains in today’s FT, the rights of citizens aren’t as easy to guarantee as they look. Do pensions count? What about the children of EU citizens? What about access to social security and health? Rights that are easy to protect in the UK are more fraught in Spain, for instance. What about a British expat, working in, say, Italy, married to an Italian, who divorces, but wishes to remain in Italy afterwards? There is general agreement on all sides that the rights of Brits living in the rest of the EU and citizens of the EU27 living here need to be respected and guaranteed. But that even areas of broad agreement are the subject of fraught negotiation shows why those “I told you sos”  may come in handy sooner than we think.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.