In what has been seen by many insiders as a bold move, and one indicative of changing times in a banking world that seems split between old world values and controversy, Barclays has appointed Daniel Ryan on an interim basis as head of its London spot foreign exchange desk. The junior trader is said to be replacing the spot of controversial figure Chris Ashton. Ryan’s CV, when compared to that of titans of the industry, is relatively short. He has worked with Barclays for only a year, having worked at Citibank’s Singapore office prior to his move. Certainly, Ryan’s youth and relative inexperience has been a major point of interest in the high-stakes world of banking, where big decisions tend to be made by executives with decades of experience.
Foreign exchange trading has especially come under fire lately because it is such a small portion of the banking sector with an enormous amount of capital at its disposal. While this can be a good thing, as forex traders bring much needed capital into the economy, it can also mean that the sector can become too much of an in-group, with little outside feedback: only a few hundred traders deal in trillions of dollars, and as regulation changes the landscape of foreign exchange desks, it seems that banks are following suit.A Sign of Positive Change?
While many see the move as unconventional, it might also be said that Barclays’ decision may represent a change in the way large banks are run, and a symbol of how the bringing in of new blood can change the financial sector for the better. As stricter regulation takes place in the forex world, the public may see a banking industry that prizes conservative risk-taking and a younger generation of leaders.One thing is certain amidst the banking crisis that is shaking up the pecking order of leading banks: The role of the bank in society is slowly being redefined in the shadow of the 2008 recession. As banks strike a more civic-minded tone, people may be excited to hear of new ideas coming to the fore at places like Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and Citibank. If Ryan manages to change the image of places such as the forex desks of Barclays, trading could become healthier than ever. That would be a welcome site to bankers and private citizens alike.