Bank boss quits

Barclays CEO Staley leaves over Epstein links

Jes Staley

Jes Staley in Glasgow for the opening of its new campus

Barclays Bank chief executive Jes Staley will leave the bank with immediate effect following an inquiry into his links to the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The bank’s board said it is “disappointed” with the outcome of the report by the Financial Conduct Authority.

It was made aware on Friday night of the preliminary conclusions from the City watchdog’s investigation, but offered no further information.

The decision prompted a mixed reaction in the City, particularly among those who recognise his positive impact on the bank. Its shares closed 1.76% lower, but one analyst said “the market seems to be regretting Mr Staley’s sudden departure”.

Mr Staley, who was in Glasgow recently for the opening of its campus on the Clyde, said he intends to contest the findings. Barclays pointed out that the investigation did not find that Mr Staley was aware of any of Epstein’s alleged crimes.

He will be replaced by the bank’s head of global markets, C S Venkatakrishnan, from today.

Barclays said Mr Staley was entitled to 12 months’ notice and will therefore continue to receive his current fixed annual pay of £2.4 million in cash and Barclays shares, a pension allowance of £120,000 and other benefits until October 2022. 

Speaking in February last year, Mr Staley said: “For sure, with hindsight with what we know now, I deeply regret having any relationship with Jeffrey.”

He said he had embarked on a “professional relationship” with Epstein, a wealthy financier, in 2000, when Mr Staley became head of JPMorgan’s private bank. Epstein was a client.

Mr Venkatakrishnan will receive fixed annual pay of £2.7million – delivered 50 per cent in cash, paid monthly, and 50% in Barclays shares.

Barclays said today: “Barclays and Mr Jes Staley, group chief executive, were made aware on Friday evening of the preliminary conclusions from the FCA and the PRA [Prudential Regulation Authority] of their investigation into Mr Staley’s characterisation to Barclays of his relationship with the late Mr Jeffrey Epstein and the subsequent description of that relationship in Barclays’ response to the FCA.

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