Barclays Bank and its chief executive are being investigated by regulators over their handling of concerns raised by a whistleblower. The bank made the information public while disclosing to the stock market that it had issued a formal reprimand and would impose a “very significant compensation adjustment” on Jes Staley. It said the bank’s board imposed the measures after an independent investigation into his attempts to identify a whistleblower who had raised, in two letters, concerns about a recently recruited senior member of staff. Barclays said the anonymous letters highlighted issues of a “personal nature” and also raised worries about Mr Staley’s knowledge of, and role in, dealing with those issues at a previous employer.
The investigation by Simmons & Simmons LLP found, and the board has concluded, that Mr Staley honestly, but mistakenly, believed that it was permissible to identify the author of the letter.
Mr Staley said: “I have apologised to the Barclays board, and accepted its conclusion that my personal actions in this matter were errors on my part. "I will also accept whatever sanction it deems appropriate. I will co-operate fully with the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority, which are now both examining this matter. Barclays said the scale of its financial penalty against Mr Staley for the compliance failings would be determined once the regulators’ inquiries had concluded. He took home over £4m in the bank’s last financial year. Chairman John McFarlane said: ”“I am personally very disappointed and apologetic that this situation has occurred, particularly as we strive to operate to the highest possible ethical standards.