Stop seeking revenge, says Barclays banker

THE time for “revenge” in the financial crisis needs to come to an end, the senior non- executive director at banking giant Barclays has said.

Sir Michael Rake – who also serves on the boards of telecoms giant BT, budget airline EasyJet and US publisher McGraw-Hill – said the “blame culture” must give way to a more measured approach in dealing with bank regulation.

His comments come amid a looming shareholder backlash against the chief executive’s pay at Barclays.

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“Many, many people were at fault in terms of what caused this crisis – partly politicians, partly regulators who loosened capital requirements – and there are many reforms still to be done,” he said. “But it is time to stop talking about revenge and to reflect calmly on how to move ahead.”

Rake, who also chairs the UK Commission for Employment & Skills, said politicians need to focus wholly upon bigger issues, such as rising youth unemployment.

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More than one million people between the ages of 18 and 24 are currently unemployed in the UK.

“The only thing that we should all be worried about is creating jobs and growth, particularly for the next generation,” Rake said.

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Revelations this month that Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond received a £17 million-plus pay package last year have stoked the public furore over excessive executive pay, particularly among bankers.

There is talk of a shareholder rebellion at Barclays’ annual general meeting on 27 April, with pension fund group NAPF “concerned” about the size of Diamond’s pay deal.

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• Read an interview with Sir Michael Rake in The Scotsman tomorrow