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Barclays put profit ahead of customers

The logo of Barclays bank is seen at its office in the Canary Wharf business district of London April 1, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Helgren
The logo of Barclays bank is seen at its office in the Canary Wharf business district of London April 1, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays put profit ahead of customers and standards within the bank were allowed to slip from the early 2000s, veteran lawyer Anthony Salz said following his review of business practices at Britain's second-largest lender.

Salz was commissioned by Barclays to conduct the review in July last year after the bank was fined $450 million for its role in a global interest rate rigging scandal.

"Through the 2000s, there was a very short-term focus on profit which led to a problem with culture and values. It appeared to emphasize financial performance rather than looking after customers. That was reinforced by the pay structures," Salz said in an interview on Wednesday.

Salz also said that Barclays had an unsatisfactory relationship with Britain's financial regulator.

"They were seen to become somewhat aggressive and a bit too clever by half and that led to less than ideal relationships including with the UK regulator," he said.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham. Editing by Carmel Crimmins)

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