Barclays CEO Jes Staley lauds Indian economy, PM Modi

Jes Staley, CEO of Barclays

The Barclays bank’s chief said that India is an island of calm in a world beset by turbulence, in an interview to The Economic Times.

India’s PM Narendra Modi and the Indian economy received a stamp of approval from one of Britain’s biggest banks recently. Jes Staley, CEO of Barclays, told The Economic Times that India was an ‘island of calm in a turbulent world’.

Staley also lauded Modi’s efforts, stating they have had a huge impact on India and the world and that the PM has shown maturity regarding geopolitical issues.

Here are five key takeaways from the banker’s interview

PM Modi and global challenges: I think with the challenges the globe is facing now, PM Modi is a source of stability and we need that around the world today. India is an island of calm in a world beset by turbulence

Advantage India: It’s not a developing country dependent on commodities almost uniquely. In fact, it’s one of the countries which benefits when commodities get cheaper, that is a very positive sign. The Prime Minister’s engagement with world leaders has shown a maturity and sensitivity to geopolitics has served India really well. So, I am a buyer.

Global financial landscape: London is important in many ways and that’s not going to go away. So, I think, with the concentration of capital in London and the G20’s desire to not create protectionist barriers, the UK will find a way for banks with branches in London to remain competitive in the global capital markets.

Tough times: The challenge is that banks are not sufficiently profitable to have an unfettered access to capital; that’s not healthy. Now that we have gotten banks sufficiently capitalised with the exception of Italy, they are not sufficiently profitable. That has to change. Banks have to manage themselves differently, price accordingly, and there has to be more stability in the regulatory framework facing banks.

US Fed and rate hike:  After the first rate increase in a decade, the Fed seems to have developed cold feet. I agree with the US Fed that you should raise rates when the economic conditions say that you need to raise rates. I think there is going to be a surprise. The next financial surprise very well may be that the economic conditions requiring rates to rise in the US may become apparent by the end of this year.


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