Matt Barrett, who leaves his post to become Barclays’ chairman next year, also told a Parliamentary Committee Thursday that he advised his children not to run up credit card debt.
Barclays owns Barclaycard, the country’s biggest credit card. British newspapers are already savaging the Irish-Canadian banker.
“A little fatherly advice from the head of Barclays: don’t use credit cards,” read a headline in The Guardian above a photo of Barrett.
“Barclays plank,” headlined the Daily Mirror while newspapers likened the comments that led to the effective collapse of Gerald Ratner’s high street jewellery empire 12 years ago.
Ratner publicly described his merchandise as “total crap”.
“Credit cards branded a rip-off as Barclays chief does a Ratner,” headlined The Daily Telegraph on Friday.
Barrett’s gaffe came before parliament’s Treasury Select Committee, where he was asked to justify why interest charged on a Barclaycard was 17.9% when the Bank of England’s main interest rate stood at only 3.5%.