Barclays PLC ADR BCS
Q1 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 04/24/2013

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Barclays Quarter One Interim Management Statement Analyst and Investors Conference Call. I will now hand you over to Antony Jenkins, Group Chief Executive.

Antony Jenkins - Group Chief Executive: Good morning, everyone and thanks for joining us. I'm here with Chris Lucas, who will take you through the numbers in a moment.

But before he does that, I'd like to talk briefly about the progress we've made since February. When I set out our goal to become the Go-To Bank for all of our stakeholders, you will see clear evidence today that having outlined our TRANSFORM program in February, we are now very focused on implementation and made good progress in the first part of 2013.

As you know, in January, we agreed a since cross business purpose for Barclays helping people achieve their ambitions in the right way, have five core values which underpin it. Since then, we have focused on implementing these across the organization and I am pleased with how my colleagues have welcomed the changes, including how performance will be measured and rewarded.

We made six financial commitments for 2015 at our strategy review. To deliver a return on equity above the cost of equity; to reduce the cost base by GBP1.7 billion on a net basis; to achieve a cost-to-income ratio in the mid-50s; to reduce RWAs by GBP75 billion gross; to ensure our transitional common equity Tier 1 exceeds 10.5%; and to accelerate our progressive dividend policies in 2014, targeting a payout ratio of 30% over time.

Cost is a critical underpinning of these commitments. I work to transform our cost base by looking at processes end-to-end and by improving controls and the customer experience is already well underway.

We are on track to execute the GBP1 billion program of restructuring and investment for 2012, which we announced in February. Half of that cost has been taken in this quarter. Reducing our European Retail branch network in order to focus on the mass affluent segment and resizing our equities and investment banking operations in Asia and Europe have been the immediate priorities.

As we promised in February, we have also reallocated more elements of the head office costs to the businesses. So the aggregate of those businesses results is more closely aligned to those of the Group, including the Group return on equity. This will increase transparency and accountability and reduces execution risks against our TRANSFORM goals.

As we move from the planning phase into execution, I announced a number of organizational changes in our Corporate and Investment Banking and Wealth businesses last week to support and accelerate delivery. These changes follow the elimination of the Global Retail and Business Banking layer in late 2012 and the integration plans in hand to bring together Barclays Africa and Absa and ensure we have the team in place to build the Go-To bank.

We told you in February that we'd have a good start to the year and that momentum has continued through the first quarter. I'm pleased also that we've delivered improved underlying profitability across most of our businesses.

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