New Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins has called on large corporations to take responsibility for acting ethically, and pledged personal accountability for the reassessment of Barclays’ “core values”.
He was speaking at the One Young World summit in Pittsburgh, which convened 1,300 young leaders from 182 countries over the weekend, to engage with some of the world’s most pressing problems. Seven Hills led in the international PR team for the summit.
Chairing a panel session on Ethical Business, also featuring School for Startups founder Doug Richard, and former Observer editor Will Hutton, Jenkins elaborated on his view that corporations must act in a responsible manner:
“My own view is that, although we have laws, and we have regulation, that is no substitute at all for the behaviour that is required of large organisations in the commercial space.
“Large organisations have to take responsibility for their own behaviours and actions. And I actually believe that businesses that operate in an ethical way will ultimately be more successful.”
Jenkins made specific reference to his role at Barclays, where he succeeded Bob Diamond as group chief executive this summer in the wake of the Libor scandal.
“I am in the process of crafting a purpose for the Barclays group”, he said. “Next week we are going to spend time at Barclays looking at what our core values are, and defining a balanced scorecard for the institution. What that’s really about is setting goals, targets, metrics for each of our stakeholders, for our customers and clients, for our colleagues and for broader. We will do all that work and get that done by the end of the year.”
Reflecting on the aftermath of the Libor controversy, Jenkins reflected on how the “visible, tangible, example of what happens when a business does not serve all of its stakeholders became very personal for me…Two months later, I was asked to lead Barclays as group chief executive, so now I have to put my words into action and you can hold me accountable for that.”
The Barclays chief’s comments were reported in the Sunday Telegraph.