John McFarlane

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John McFarlane

John McFarlane.jpg
Born14 June 1947 (1947-06-14) (age 75)
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
London Business School

John McFarlane OBE (born 14 June 1947) is a British businessman. He served as Group Chairman of Barclays from 2015 to 2019.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Dumfries and attended Dumfries Academy. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh, Cranfield and the London Business School.


He began his career in manufacturing with Ford of Europe in 1969, subsequently having a career in banking. He spent eighteen years with Citibank, ultimately as head of Citibank in Ireland and the United Kingdom.[2] In 1993 he became Group Executive Director of Standard Chartered Plc. based in London and Hong Kong. He was Chief Executive of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ), one of Australia's leading banks, after a decade of service, during which time he turned around the financial performance of the bank, and spearheaded an effort, called "Breakout", to transform the Bank. He retired in 2007.[3]

In October 2008 he joined the board of the Royal Bank of Scotland as a non-executive director.[4] He was appointed to the board of Aviva plc in September 2011 and became Chairman in July 2012.[5][6] He was previously deputy chairman and chairman designate and became executive deputy Chairman in May 2012. He was president of the International Monetary Conference (the annual meeting of the heads of the world's major banks and central banks) and was chairman of the Australian Bankers' Association. While in the United Kingdom, he was a member of the Bank of England Financial Law Review Panel and in 1992, he chaired The McFarlane Report - the review of "The Future Development of Auditing in the United Kingdom and Ireland". More recently, he served as a member of the governing body of the Economics Research Institute for the Association of South East Asian Nations & East Asia. In December 2013, he was appointed Chairman of FirstGroup.[7][8]

In September 2014, he was appointed Chairman of Barclays and joined the board with effect from 1 January 2015.[9][10] He was appointed executive chairman of Barclays in July 2015 until a permanent replacement could be found for their departing chief executive Antony Jenkins.[11] He is also chairman of TheCityUK.

McFarlane contributed to an anthology of writing that was published in October 2018 and produced by Labour in the City, which examines the challenges facing the banking sector a decade on from the financial crisis.[12][13] In November 2018, Barclays announced that McFarlane was stepping down as chairman in May 2019.[14]

In January 2020, McFarlane was appointed chairman of Westpac.[15]


He has been awarded the OBE, the Australian Centenary Medal and the inaugural Cranfield Distinguished Alumnus award. He has banking and securities fellowships in the UK, Australia and Hong Kong and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


  1. ^ "John MCFARLANE - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Companies House. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  2. ^ "The Times & The Sunday Times". Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  3. ^ Williams, Ruth (13 June 2007). "No more Sekrets for McFarlane". The Age. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  4. ^ Armitstead, Louise; Kleinman, Mark (27 August 2008). "Royal Bank of Scotland shakes up boardroom with new directors". Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 26 February 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Our Board". 23 May 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  6. ^ Loddington, Amy (12 September 2014). "Barclays announce John McFarlane as new Chairman". Financial Reporter. Retrieved 26 February 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "FirstGroup appoints John McFarlane as Chairman". 6 December 2013. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013.
  8. ^ "FirstGroup appoints new chairman". BBC News. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  9. ^ "John McFarlane appointed to succeed Sir David Walker as Chairman" (PDF). 12 September 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Barclays appoints Aviva's John McFarlane as chairman". Retrieved 26 February 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ "Barclays sacks chief executive Antony Jenkins". BBC. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ Clark, Andrew (1 November 2018). "We must turn the page on the public perceptions of finance". Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  13. ^ McFarlane, John (31 October 2018). "Ten years on - we must not forget the lessons we have learnt". Ten years on: banking beyond the crisis (PDF). Labour in the City. pp. 19–21. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  14. ^ "Barclays chairman John 'Mack the Knife' McFarlane to step down". The Independent. 2 November 2018. Archived from the original on 13 June 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  15. ^ Ryan, Peter (23 January 2020). "Westpac picks John McFarlane as new chairman to deal with money laundering scandal". ABC News. Retrieved 26 February 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
Business positions
Preceded by Group Chairman of Barclays
23 April 2015 – 1 May 2019
Succeeded by
Nigel Higgins
Preceded by
Antony Jenkins (as Group Chief Executive)
Executive Chairman of Barclays
17 July 2015 – 1 December 2015
Succeeded by
Jes Staley (as Group Chief Executive)