ANZ's Australian chief executive Mike Smith is being touted as a possible candidate to head up British bank Barclays after its chief executive resigned in the wake of the Libor rate-fixing scandal.

The Wall St Journal has reported that Smith is one of several candidates that the board was likely to consider.

Smith joined ANZ in October 2007. Before joining the bank he was chief executive of Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation.

The report said Barclays had appointed recruitment company Spencer Stuart to find a chief executive and was expected to come up a with a short list within two weeks in order the fill the position within three months.


ANZ has declined to comment on the report. Smith is currently on annual leave.

Last month regulators in the US and UK fined Barclays £290 million ($566 million) for attempting to rig Libor and Euribor - the interest rates at which banks lend to each other, which underpin trillions of pounds in financial transactions.

The fine, which also saw chairman Marcus Agius stand down, was around 10 per cent of the pre-tax profits for Barclays' latest financial year.