Barclays chief Staley survives whistleblowing inquiry with fines
23 Apr 2018

Barclays (BARC.L) said Jes Staley will be fined by British regulators for attempting to unmask a whistleblower, but will be able to keep his job as the bank’s chief executive.

The country’s banking watchdogs concluded Staley’s attempt to find out who wrote a letter raising “concerns of a personal nature” about an unnamed senior employee represented a breach of individual conduct, Barclays said on Friday.

Staley’s case is the first big test of Britain’s “senior managers regime” (SMR), aimed at making top banking officials personally accountable for their actions after few were punished for their roles in bank collapses during the financial crisis.

If Staley accepts the findings of the regulators, it would be the first time that a sitting chief executive of a major bank in Britain has been fined by its regulators. A bank spokesman said the size of the fine had yet to be determined.

Barclays said the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) were “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”.

News of the FCA and PRA fines follows a more than year-long probe in Britain that had led to speculation among some investors and bank insiders that Staley could have been forced to step down if deemed unfit to continue by those authorities.

Barclays also said that the FCA and PRA will not take enforcement action against the bank, while authorities in the United States are still investigating the case.

“Staley will live on to fight another day – which we welcome as a positive development for the bank and a relief for shareholders,” John Cronin at Irish broker Goodbody said.

– By Lawrence White, Huw Jones, Reuters, 20 April 2018

Link to the Reuters article.

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