After the 2008 crash Barclays came to stand for the banking industry’s culture of greed and excess – and hubris. Who was to blame? The individuals or the system that put them there? And what has changed?
Join us for an exclusive conversation between Bob Diamond – the banker the public loved to hate, who came to embody (perhaps too conveniently) all that was wrong with our banking culture – and Philip Augar, who has had unparalleled access to the evidence, and will paint a more nuanced portrait of the individuals and the institution than we are used to hearing.
Internally it is a story of board-room intrigue inside one of our biggest national financial organisms, and the struggle between rival strategies for long-term supremacy. On one side, those desperate for Barclays to join the top table of global banks. On the other side, those who argued for a smaller domestic role, in keeping with the Quaker bank’s sober origins.
Externally it is the story of Britain’s social and economic life over thirty years, in which the City changed from a cottage industry on the margins of the economy into a powerhouse that transformed our attitudes to money, debt and business relationships. The leveraged society, the winner-takes-all mentality, our present era of austerity: there is no better symbol of these things than Barclays, one of the icons of the British high street. A story of one bank, which has implicated us all.