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Barclays Finance Director Lucas, Chief Counsel Harding To Retire

British lender Barclays Plc (BCS,BARC.L) announced Sunday that Group Finance Director Chris Lucas and Group General Counsel Mark Harding will be retiring from the company. The company has already launched a search for their successor's, which the company said could 'take a considerable time.'

The U.K.-based bank said both of them have agreed to remain in their respective roles until successor's are named, and a smooth transition is achieved.

"Chris and Mark both expressed to me late last year that they were considering stepping down from their roles at Barclays. The rationale which each shared with me was consistent and, typically, grounded in wanting to do what is best for the bank. Their decision to retire was theirs alone," Group CEO Antony Jenkins said in a statement.

Lucas and Harding are leaving the company amid the scandals of Libor and Euribor rate fixing as well as the capital injection by Qatar in 2008. Lucas is one of the four current and former employees being investigated by British regulators on the Qatar issue.

The rate fixing scandal saw former CEO Bob Diamond, Chairman Marcus Agius and COO Jerry del Missier leaving the company last year. However, Agius agreed to become full-time chairman after Diamond's resignation and led the search for a new chief executive.

Meanwhile, Lucas is the only remaining executive director of the company who is still with the company after it was fined 290 million pounds or $450 million six months ago for rate fixing.

Lucas has served as Group Finance Director of Barclays for nearly six years from April 2007. He joined the company from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he was UK Head of Financial Services and Global Head of Banking and Capital Markets.

Lucas has served as Global Relationship Partner for Barclays from 1999 to 2004 and subsequently held similar roles for other global financial services organizations. He has worked across financial services for most of his career, including three years in New York as Head of the US Banking Audit Practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Meanwhile, Harding joined Barclays a decade ago as Group General Counsel in 2003. He chairs the Group Governance and Control Committee and the Reputation Council.

Previously, Harding was a partner in the international law firm, Clifford Chance, where his practice spanned bank finance, capital markets and financial services regulation. He also spent four years at UBS AG (UBS) as General Counsel of its investment bank.

"The execution of our change program will take place over the next 5-10 years, and both Chris and Mark feel that now is the right time for them, personally and professionally, to pass the baton on in their respective roles to executives who can commit to seeing that program to completion," Jenkins added.

BCS closed Friday's regular trading session at $18.88, down $0.28 or 1.46% on a volume of 3.14 million shares. BARC.L closed on the LSE at 300.00 pence, down 1.00 pence or 0.33% on a volume of 50.23 million shares.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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