UK to fine Barclays CEO over whistleblower incident

Barclays CEO Jes Staley apologised to shareholders after the incident was made public
AFP

London (AFP) – British regulators are to fine Barclays chief executive Jes Staley an undisclosed amount after he breached rules by trying to uncover a whistleblower, the bank said Friday.

Following a year-long investigation, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority each have proposed that Staley pays “a financial penalty”, Barclays said in a statement.

According to Barclays, “the FCA and PRA are not alleging that he acted with a lack of integrity or that he lacks fitness and propriety to continue to perform his role as group chief executive”. 

But regulators added that Staley had breached an individual conduct rule requiring him “to act with due skill, care and diligence”.

Barclays meanwhile noted that it would face no separate fine over the matter that took place in 2016.

In April 2017, Barclays revealed that US national Staley was being probed by regulators and was to suffer a “very significant” pay cut after bypassing rules to try and uncover a whistleblower.

The incident further tarnished the bank’s reputation as Barclays sought to repair its image following its role in the foreign exchange and Libor interest rate rigging scandals.

According to Barclays, an anonymous letter had been sent to board members raising concerns about a senior employee who had recently been recruited, including issues of a personal nature.

In response, Staley requested that a team at the lender uncovered who wrote the letter, viewing it as “an unfair personal attack on the senior employee”.

Barclays chairman John McFarlane acknowledged a lack of judgement by Staley but gave the chief executive his support to carry on in the top role.

Staley meanwhile formally apologised to shareholders shortly after the incident was made public.

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