New Barclays CEO Bob Diamond may be holding the ultimate threat is his back pocket in future negotiations with the British government: breaking apart the bank and moving its most profitable portion to New York.
Barclays, which now makes two-thirds of its profits from the Bob Diamond designed investment banking division, could choose to split up the bank’s investment banking and its retail division if the government gets too serious with future regulations, speculates FT Alphaville.
A suggested note from Barclays to the UK government, from FT Alphaville:
“If you decide ‘casino investment banking’ should be separated from retail banks, our new CEO will simply de-merge the business and re-list it in New York first. And remember he’s always dreamt of being a big swinging dick on Wall Street”.
FT Alphaville aren’t the only ones suggesting this, but the idea the bank could re-list in New York is particularly enticing. Barclays took over large portions of Lehman Brothers, including their iconic midtown building, after their bankruptcy.
For the investment bank to break away from Barclays retail business and re-list in New York, rather than London, would be a major coup for Wall Street over the City of London.