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Bob Diamond to take the helm at Barclays

Bob Diamond is to take over as chief executive of Barclays, replacing John Varley.

Mr Diamond, who is currently president of Barclays PLC and chief executive officer of the group’s Corporate and Investment Banking and Wealth Management units, is acknowledged as one of the world’s most successful bankers.

The move reflects Barclays’ triumphs as an investment bank; in the six months to the end of June the group reported pre-tax profit of £3.9 billion, up 44% on a year earlier.

However, earnings at Barclays Capital represented around 80% of overall profits for the group, sparking rumours that Barclays could ditch its retail operations.

Yesterday, the bank announced that it will be creating 600 new jobs in Glasgow where it intends to establish a hub for its investment banking and wealth management operations.

Mr Diamond’s appointment is likely to be greeted cautiously by politicians; in April the then Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, labelled Mr Diamond the “unacceptable face” of banking, claiming that his salary amounted to £63 million.

Separately, HSBC chairman, Stephen Green, is also resigning his post, to become a trade minister with the Coalition Government.

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