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Barclays' Staley faces fine for whistleblowing scandal

Regulators plan fine for Barclays boss Jes Staley after he tried to uncover the identity of a whistleblower.

Barclays' Staley faces fine for whistleblowing scandal

Barclays (BARC) boss Jess Staley is facing a regulatory fine for trying to uncover the identity of an anonymous whistleblower. 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have decided to take enforcement action after concluding a year-long investigation into the matter. 

In a joint statement the FCA and PRA said they had recently issued confidential draft warning notices setting out their reasons for proposing enforcement actions.

The watchdogs allege that Staley's actions represented a breach of Individual Conduct Rule 2, which require people to act with due skill, care and diligence. Each regulator has proposed that he pay a financial penalty.

'The FCA and PRA are not alleging that he [Staley] acted with a lack of integrity or that he lacks fitness and propriety to continue to perform his role as group chief executive officer,' the statement read.

Staley has a period during which he may review the decision before a final outcome is reached. 

While Barclays said it would determine what adjustments should be made to Staley's pay once the case includes, it indicated it continued have faith in its boss. 

'The Barclays board continues to have unanimous confidence in Mr Staley and continues to recommend his re-election as a director at the Barclays annual general meeting on 1 May 2018,' it said.

The probe in Staley was launched last April after it emerged he had attempted to identify the author of a letter from a whistleblower that first came to the attention of the Barclays board in early 2017. 

The board immediately instructed an external law firm, Simmons & Simmons, to conduct an investigation into the matter, led by Gerry Grimstone, deputy chair and senior independent director, on behalf of the board.

The board also notified the FCA and PRA and other relevant authorities.

'I have apologised to the Barclays board, and accepted its conclusion that my personal actions in this matter were errors on my part. I will also accept whatever sanction it deems appropriate,' Staley said in a statement at the time.

After concluding its probe, the PRA and FCA decided to stop short of taking enforcement action against Barclays, but have proposed the bank provide reports on certain aspects of its whistleblowing programme. 

In May 2017, Barclays voluntarily commissioned independent reviews of its whistleblowing policies, processes and controls.

1 comment so far. Why not have your say?

Steve L. Jones

Apr 21, 2018 at 05:59

So Barclays' board has "unanimous confidence" in Staley, does it? The same board and the same chief executive who have presided complacently over Barclays' Smart (!) Investor disaster. The only sensible place for the lot of them is in the dole queue

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