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Barclays hires JPMorgan for broking role

[LONDON] Barclays has appointed US bank JPMorgan as its corporate broker replacing Credit Suisse, the British bank told Reuters on Wednesday, making the change as new chairman John McFarlane begins a revamp of the lender.

Barclays said it made the choice after inviting investment banks to pitch for the role. It kept on Deutsche Bank which was already one of its brokers, the bank said.

Corporate brokers, a setup peculiar to Britain, are investment bankers who act as an intermediary between public companies and their institutional investors. They are meant to be a company's trusted adviser, using expertise built up over years of being its eyes and ears in the market.

Swiss bank Credit Suisse had been broker to Barclays for around 25 years, while Deutsche Bank had been appointed to the role in 2011.

JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. Credit Suisse did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr Macfarlane, who took the helm after the bank's annual shareholder meeting in April, is overseeing Barclays' efforts to shrink its balance sheet as part of a plan to cut costs, simplify its business and improve returns for shareholders.

Several London-listed banks have changed brokerships in the past few months. Royal Bank of Scotland is turning to Bank of America Merrill Lynch as its new corporate broker in preparation for the government's plan to start selling its 78 per cent stake in the bank later this year.

Standard Chartered also changed brokers at the end of 2014, replacing UBS with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and keeping on JPMorgan.

JPMorgan retains the crown in terms of the most broking relationships, following its purchase of British brokerage Cazenove. JPMorgan has 34 FTSE 100 clients and 90 FTSE 250, followed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, UBS and Morgan Stanley.