Barclays finance director Chris Lucas is to step down on Friday, six months earlier than planned, because of “health reasons”.
Lucas, 52, said today he would quit the post he has held for the past six years at the end of this week because of deteriorating health. He had aimed to work until the end of 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 said in a statement.
Replacement Tushar Morzaria, currently chief financial officer of JP Morgan Chase’s corporate and investment banking arm, is now due to join Barclays on 15 October, three months earlier than originally anticipated.
Financial controller Peter Estlin will now be responsible for steering Barclays through the September fundraising. While the timing of Lucas’s departure is regarded as unfortunate, Mike Trippitt of Numis Securities said the fundraising timetable would not be jeopardised.
The cash call is the biggest rights issue by a British bank since 2009, when Lloyds Banking Group raised £13.5bn. Investec analyst Ian Gordon said: “In practical terms it [Lucas’s departure] doesn’t change anything.”
Lucas was the only executive director to retain his post after Barclays was fined £290 million last year for its part in the Libor manipulation scandal.
He is also one of four current and former employees under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority, which is looking at whether Barclays adequately disclosed fees paid to Qatar Investment Authority in exchange for its multi-billion pound injection into the bank in 2008.
Barclays, which has seen the watchdog’s initial report, has said that it will contest those findings.