11 May 2018
The Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority have jointly fined Barclays chief Jes Staley £642,430 for attempting to identity a whistleblower.
Regulators found Staley had “failed to act with due skill, care and diligence” when the bank received an anonymous letter in June 2016.
The letter claimed to be from a Barclays shareholder and contained various allegations, some of which concerned Staley.
It is understood the letter raised concerns about his hiring of a senior official, who was his former colleague at JP Morgan.
Regarding the letter, Staley, however, should have identified that he had a conflict of interest in relation to the letter, and maintained an “appropriate distance” from the Group Compliance’s investigation, the regulators said.
In addition, there was a risk he would not be impartial in his judgement of how Barclays should respond.
The FCA and PRA added that although he had breached the requirement to act with due skill and diligence, he did not a breach the requirement to act with integrity.
His case is the first brought by the FCA and PRA under the Senior Managers Regime.
In addition to the fines, Barclays will also have to report annually to the regulators about how it handles whistleblowing.
Mark Steward, FCA Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, said: “Chief Executives must act with a high degree of care and prudence at all times. Whistleblowers play a vital role in exposing poor practice and misconduct in the financial services sector.
“It is critical that individuals are able to speak up anonymously and without fear of retaliation if they want to raise concerns.”
The combined fine imposed by the FCA and PRA would have been £917,800, but Staley agreed to settle at an early stage of the regulators’ investigation and therefore qualified for a 30% reduction in the overall fine.
Staley reportedly said: “I have consistently acknowledged that my personal involvement in this matter was inappropriate, and I have apologised for mistakes which I made.”
Barclays has said it will cut his bonus by £500,000.
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