New Barclays chairman to review business

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LONDON -- The new chairman of Barclays Bank says he'll undertake a top-to-bottom review of his embattled company, telling a British newspaper that he isn't wedded to any of his predecessor's policies.

Asked if he was committed to the current business plan of Barclays, which is reeling from a massive rate-fixing scandal, David Walker told The Sunday Telegraph that he wasn't "committed to anything except getting it right."

Walker said he wanted to review the company's business plan, but didn't want to sound "threatening."

Walker is due to replace Marcus Agius, who offered his resignation last month after regulators imposed a $453 million fine on the bank for manipulating the critical London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR. The rate is used to calculate borrowing costs for hundreds of trillions of dollars in loans and investments such as bonds and derivatives.

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The scandal has damaged the bank's reputation and led to a slew of resignations -- most notably that of former chief executive Bob Diamond. Regulators are still weighing whether to bring criminal charges against those involved.

Market-watchers had speculated that the scandal would prompt Barclays to pare back its investment banking arm, Barclays Capital. But Walker, who takes over from Agius on Nov. 1, seemed cool to the idea, telling the Telegraph he wanted to remain a "universal bank."-- AP

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