A fine of £642,000 has been imposed on Jes Staley, the Barclays CEO by regulators after he tried to identify a whistleblower, breaking rules in the process. The Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudent Regulation Authority stated that he has failed to act with due diligence, care and skill while responding to an unidentified letter which he received in the month of June, 2016. Both authorities started investigating this last year which has ultimately led to a deduction of £500,000 from his bonus.
The deduction was purposely delayed by the directors who were waiting for the investigation to be completed and to know the amount for which Staley had been penalized. Staley himself confessed to his misdoings as he has done throughout and accepted the charges put on him along with the punishment that came with it.
His fine is about a fifth of his total compensation and would have been much more (£900,00) had he not decided to settle this early in the investigation, an action that earned him a 30% haircut on his fine.
With this, Staley becomes the first head of a leading financial body to keep his job after being fined by regulators, something which many will find hard to digest. Even after regulators had brought in strict rules urging people with concerns regarding wrong doing to come forward, Staley on receiving an anonymous tip regarding a senior employee, put the bank’s own investigations team on the job. This could have potentially been a career ending move, as someone in his position is expected to be compliant with regulators in matters such as this.
Barclays defended the retention of Staley as the CEO saying that the investigation did not implicate in any way that his intentions were wrong nor did it question his competence to continue the role. This might be amusing to a few as the regulators very nearly said just the opposite. The bank will now be on the regulators’ radar for any such incidents in the future.
Hunter Byce is Shouzy’s senior editor and a nationally syndicated columnist and author. Hunter lives in Baltimore and covers the intersection of money, politics and finance. He appears periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) NPR, Politico and The Atlantic. He also has served as a journalist and consultant on documentaries for KTNYC.