Barclays CEO Jes Staley fined $870,000 for trying to unmask an anonymous whistleblower

  • Barclays CEO Jes Staley was fined more than £600,000 ($US870,000) for his involvement in attempts to unmask a whistleblower at the bank in 2016.
  • The FCA and PRA will monitor Barclay’s whistleblowing program going forward.
  • The decisions bring the regulators’ year-long investigation to a close.

Barclays CEO Jes Staley has been slapped with a massive fine by Britain’s financial authorities following his attempts to unmask a whistleblower at the bank in 2016.

In a joint statement on Friday, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) announced that Staley will be fined £642,430 ($US870,662) after an investigation into his conduct, which found that he “failed to act with due skill, care and diligence in the way he acted in response to an anonymous letter received by Barclays in June 2016.”

Staley was paid a total compensation package of around £3.8 million ($US5.2 million) in 2017, so Friday’s fine represents around 17% of his overall pay from that year. The PRA and FCA’s joint statement says the fine is “10% of Mr Staley’s relevant annual income.”

The fine was announced back in April, but the amount he would have to pay was not revealed at that time.

Barclays’ board was sent an anonymous letter in 2016 raising concerns about Staley’s decision to hire a senior executive. The letter raised questions about the executive’s past, according to the Telegraph. In response, Staley asked Barclays’ internal security chief to try and identify the person or persons behind the letter. It is this decision to go after an anonymous whistleblower got Staley in trouble.

“Protection for whistleblowers is an essential part of keeping the financial system safe and sound,” Sam Woods, the CEO of the PRA said in a statement on Friday. “Mr Staley’s behaviour fell below the standard we require, resulting in today’s fine and public censure.”

As part of the settlement, Barclays will now be “subject to special requirements by which it must report annually to the regulators detailing how it handles whistleblowing,” the joint statement from the FCA and PRA said.

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