The man touted to take over the chairmanship at troubled lender Barclays [BAC.L], Michael Rake, has declined the job , according to sources.
Rake, deputy chairman of Barclays, has ruled himself out of contention to be its new chairman, striking a blow to the UK bank as it hunts for new leadership to steer it through its interest rate-rigging scandal.
Rake, who was considered favorite for the job, is not interested in the role, three people familiar with the matter said, according to Reuters, with the announcement coming from budget airline easyJet, where he is Chairman.
Barclays has found itself at the center of a regulatory and political scandal after it was forced to pay $450 million in fines three weeks ago for manipulating Libor interest rates.
The scandal has also unearthed deep problems between the lender and regulators, who have accused the bank of frequently being too aggressive.
The job is also something of a poison chalice, with the incumbent expected to attract intense scrutiny from UK authorities keen to make up for the perceived lack of intervention in the years running up to the Libor scandal.
Rake would have been forced to give up his chairmanship roles at telecoms firm BT [BT.L]and budget airline easyJet [EZJ.L] to take the job.
Mike Rake has informed the easyJet board that he has formally informed the chairman of Barclays that he does not wish to be a candidate for the chairmanship of Barclays, easyJet said, confirming what sources told Reuters on Sunday.
The board takes the opportunity to repeat its support for Sir Mike.
His refusal comes as several top shareholders reiterated their demands that the next chairman come from outside Barclays, Reuters said.
A range of candidates have been tipped for the difficult job, including former top civil servant Gus O'Donnell and Glen Moreno, the former Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) deputy chairman, according to the Sunday Times.