Barclays CEO fined to tune of £640,000 over whistleblower antics
Barclays CEO Jes Staley has been hit with a £642,430 fine by the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for his unusual attempts to uncover a whistleblower.
Mark Steward, FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight, says: “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 all goes back to 2016 when Staley attempted to identify the author of an anonymous letter received by Barclays in June of that year that claimed to be from a Barclays shareholder.
The letter contained various allegations, some of which concerned Staley. The FCA says given his conflict Staley should have maintained an appropriate distance; he should not have taken steps to identify the author.
The FCA explains that Staley should have explicitly consulted fully with those with expertise and responsibility for whistleblowing in Barclays and sought express confirmation from them that what he wanted to do was permissible. He failed to do this.
This is the first case brought by the FCA and PRA under the “Senior Managers Regime”.
As punishment for his misconduct both regulators have imposed a penalty of 10% of Staley’s relevant annual income.
Taking into account that he has settled at an early stage, Staley got walloped with the lesser sum of £642,430. The FCA and PRA “consider this to be appropriate and proportionate given the seniority of Mr Staley and the potential impact of the breach”.
You might be thinking – so has he been sacked by Barclays?