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Public quiz outgoing Barclays chief

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Outgoing Barclays chief executive will be grilled by the public on Thursday

Outgoing Barclays chief executive John Varley will be grilled by the public on Thursday at an event organised by the Independent Commission on Banking.

The Commission has been asked to consider reforms to the banking sector to promote stability and competition – with the issue of whether to break up the big banks high up on the agenda.

It is holding a series of events across the country aimed at canvassing the views of consumers and businesses and has already visited Leeds and Edinburgh.

The Commission said the meetings held so far had “provided a diverse set of views on possible reform options”.

Mr Varley will appear on the panel, chaired by former Bank of England policymaker and head of the Competition Commission Sir John Vickers, at an event hosted by the CBI in London.

Members of the public will be able to throw questions at Mr Varley, who has been chief executive of Barclays since 2004. He will step down next year, when he will be succeeded by Bob Diamond, who currently heads Barclays’ investment banking arm.

Bank bosses are also being quizzed by the Commission in private meetings.

The Commission will publish an options paper in the spring and a final report by September 2011.

Other members of the Commission include Martin Taylor, former chief executive of Barclays, Clare Spottiswoode, former gas industry regulator, Bill Winters, former co-head of JPMorgan’s investment banking, and Martin Wolf, Financial Times columnist.

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