BARCLAYS FINANCE DIRECTOR Chris Lucas is to step down from the bank six months earlier than expected due to ill health, the bank announced today.
The timing of Lucas’ (pictured) departure means the bank will be conducting a £6bn rights issue without a permanent finance director, having last month announced the cash call – the biggest by a British bank since 2009 – in order to fill a £12.8bn capital hole in its balance sheet identified by the Bank of England.
Originally set to leave the bank on 28 February next year, Lucas will now resign at the end of this week with Peter Estlin, group financial controller, acting as CFO until 15 October when Tushar Morzaria takes over the role.
“[Estlin] is deeply familiar with all aspects of the group’s finances, including the capital raising. He will not join the board though [he] will attend executive committee meetings,” the bank said.
Having served as FD during a challenging six-year period that encompassed the financial crisis, Lucas was one of the last top executives still at the bank following last July’s Libor rate-rigging scandal, which led to the departure of chief executive Bob Diamond, chairman Marcus Agius and chief operating officer Jerry del Missier.
Lucas said his health was a key factor behind his decision to retire, which the bank orginally announced in February. “Whilst I had hoped to be able to continue working until early next year it is now clear to me that with my health as it is this will no longer be possible,” he said. “I want to do the right thing by Barclays, my family, and myself, and therefore I have reached the difficult decision to step down sooner.”
JP Morgan executive Tushar Morzaria was appointed as Lucas’ successor last month, though was not originally due to join the board until February and will now forgo the expected four month handover period.
A qualified chartered accountant with previous roles in the finance functions of Credit Suisse and SG Warburg, Morzaria joins from JP Morgan Chase, where he served as chief financial officer of corporate and investment banking.