HBOS whistleblower says Barclays case tells others ‘don’t bother’
24 Apr 2018

British whistleblowers will be less likely to speak out, now that the chief executive of Barclays has been allowed to keep his job after trying to unmask an informant at the bank, another whistleblower and the head of a support group said on Friday.

Jes Staley (BARC.L) escaped with a fine on Friday after a year-long investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority into his conduct.

Staley had twice tried to find out who wrote a letter raising “concerns of a personal nature” about an unnamed senior employee at Barclays.

“I probably wouldn’t bother now,” said Paul Moore, who blew the whistle on Lloyds Banking Group’s (LLOY.L) ill-fated takeover of troubled rival HBOS in 2008. “It gives a very clear signal to whistleblowers not to bother.”

The investigation of Staley was considered the first big test of the “senior managers regime”, set up to hold top bankers accountable after few were punished for their roles in bank collapses during the financial crisis, and initiatives to encourage and protect whistleblowers.

“Whistleblowers around the financial services sector, I’m sure, would have been watching this and making a decision as to whether or not they feel safe and protected, and able therefore to make their disclosures,” said Georgina Halford-Hall, chief executive of Whistleblowers UK.

She added that she feared the outcome would deter them from speaking out.

– Emma Rumney, Reuters, 20 April 2018

Link to the Reuters article.

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