The incoming chairman of Barclays David Walker is looking for a "polymath" to fill the bank's vacant CEO post and wants to retain its investment division, he said in a newspaper interview released on Saturday.
Barclays shares rose on Friday after Walker's appointment as the British bank sought to recover from an interest rate rigging scandal that saw its chief executive Bob Diamond and chairman Marcus Agius both quit last month.
Walker, a finance industry veteran, wants to appoint two new board members and is in favour of Barclays keeping both its retail and investment banking divisions, the Sunday Telegraph said in an advance extract.
"My view is that this should continue to be a universal bank," Walker was quoted as saying.
But, the paper added, he wished to speed up the internal separation of the two divisions before a 2019 British government deadline for "ring-fencing" designed to avoid a repeat of the 2007-8 financial crisis.
Walker, 72, is due to become a Barclays director in September and take the chairman's seat two months later.
A key issue for the new senior management will be the future of the bank's investment arm, which many analysts think will be shrunk.
Walker said he did not have a "confident view at this point" on where the investment division fitted within the overall shape of the bank, the paper reported.
Asked if he was committed to the bank's current business plan, he said: "I'm not committed to anything except getting it right."
The search for a new chief executive was Walker's first task. "I will be on to that within days," he said.
The ideal candidate would be a "polymath", he added.
"Leaving aside where he's come from, whether or not he's an investment banker or a retail banker, he needs to be confident of leading in a lateral way."
He told the paper he was in principle in favour of charging for customer accounts, saying recent British scandals over mis-sold insurance and rate-hedging products were partly a consequence of offering free banking.
"Because banks are not charging, it drives them inexorably into this sort of position," he said.
Barclays, fined $453 million for manipulating Libor lending rates, has set aside 1.47 billion pounds ($2.3 billion) in compensation for mis-sold payment protection insurance policies, and a further 450 million pounds for the mis-sale of interest rate hedging.
(Reporting by Tim Castle)