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Barclays boss Jes Staley fined £642k over whistleblowing failures

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  • 11/05/2018
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Barclays boss Jes Staley fined £642k over whistleblowing failures
The chief executive of Barclays Jes Staley has been slapped with a £642,430 fine by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) over his failings relating to a whistleblower at the bank.

 

 

 

The regulators have also announced special requirements for whistleblowing systems and controls at Barclays following the case.

Staley (pictured) tried to uncover the identity of a whistleblower at the bank following an anonymous letter to Barclays in 2016 from someone who claimed to be a shareholder.

The letter contained various allegations, some of which concerned Staley.  The regulators said that given his conflict Staley should have maintained distance and consulted with teams within Barclays with responsibility for whistleblowing, but he failed to do this.

The FCA and PRA added that he had not acted with due skill, care and diligence in his response.

Both regulators viewed his misconduct as serious enough to warrant a penalty equal to 10% of Staley’s relevant annual income.

Barclays must now report annually to the regulators detailing how it handles whistleblowing, with personal attestations required from those senior managers responsible for the relevant systems and controls – with these enhanced measures to stay in place until 2020.

 

Vital whistleblowers can raise concerns in financial services

Mark Steward, FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight, said within financial services it is “critical that individuals are able to speak up anonymously and without fear of retaliation if they want to raise concerns”.

He added: “Given the crucial role of the chief executive, the standard of due skill, care and diligence is more demanding than for other employees.

“Mr Staley breached the standard of care required and expected of a chief executive in a way that risked undermining confidence in Barclays’ whistleblowing procedures.

“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 the first case brought by the FCA and PRA under the Senior Managers Regime, with the investigation finding that Mr Staley made serious errors of judgement.

Sam Woods, deputy governor for prudential regulation and chief executive officer of the PRA, said: “Protection for whistleblowers is an essential part of keeping the financial system safe and sound.

“Mr Staley’s behaviour fell below the standard we require, resulting in today’s fine and public censure.

“In addition, Barclays is now subject to special requirements to report to the PRA and FCA how it handles its whistleblowing cases in the coming years.”

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