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Barclays activist Bramson still pushing for overhaul of UK bank

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

Activist investor Edward Bramson has said he is still pushing to overhaul British bank Barclays, despite failing in his bid for a seat on the company board in May.

The half-year report by Mr Bramson’s investment vehicle Sherborne Investors C revealed he is continuing to push the lender to alter its strategy.

Barclays staved off the challenge he mounted at its annual meeting in May, as he attempted to muscle his way on to the FTSE 100 firm’s board.

Mr Bramson – whose investment group owns a 5.5% stake in Barclays – saw his efforts to join the top table voted down by 87.2% of investors.

He called on the lender to curtail its investment arm and increase returns for shareholders.

On Tuesday, Mr Bramson’s firm said it believes that discussing its strategy proposals with the bank’s board could “increase Barclays’ financial strength and its long-term competitive position”, thereby boosting shareholder returns.

In its report, Sherborne said: “The investment manager’s present intention is to continue its dialogue with Barclays for as long as it appears to be appropriate to do so.”

Since Mr Bramson’s failed attempts to direct the company, Barclays executives have been encouraged by a jump in profits to £3 billion for the six months to June 2019.

However, the lender also warned that costs will need to be slashed over the rest of the year.

In its own results for the first six months of the year, Sherborne reported a £1.2 million profit as it was aided by £3.5 million in dividend payments from the British bank.