Barclays' strategic review trailed 'like a political speech'

The outcomes of Barclays' strategic review are being trailed 'like a political speech' to reflect their importance to the company's future, PRWeek understands.

Antony Jenkins: Overseeing a 'new chapter' in banking comms
Antony Jenkins: Overseeing a 'new chapter' in banking comms

Ethics and reputation are set to be at the heart of a speech by new CEO Antony Jenkins on how the bank will operate under his leadership.

The Telegraph has reported that as part of the culmination of a strategy review Jenkins will outline a ‘new approach for a new era of banking’ tomorrow.

PRWeek understands that work around the speech and the bank's wider reputational management is being split between Portland - called in at the height of the Libor scandal - and the in-house team.

College Hill managing partner Tim Fallon said that by trailing the speech in the media in advance the bank was adopting the ‘modern political comms tactics’ typified by New Labour.

‘It’s a modern way of communicating and it's controlling the message in a way I’ve not seen from the sector before. This is a new chapter in the way that major banks are treating their comms in terms of that more proactive media management approach.’

Jenkins' speech comes after he attacked the bank's culture under his predecessor Bob Diamond in front of a parliamentary committee last week.

Over the weekend, it was also revealed that Barclays' controversial tax avoidance unit is set to be closed.

Tuesday’s strategic review will be given just hours after the bank’s results for 2012, expected to show its profits are up on 2011.

A well-placed insider source said: ‘Tuesday’s speech is being treated like a big political announcement. This is part of what we’ve been seeing in terms of comms over the weekend, with efforts to convey the big cultural reboot taking place.’

The 'wall of noise' facing banks trying to communicate on reputational issues was addressed by PRWeekTV last week.

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