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Barclays CEO fined £642,430 over whistleblower affair

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British regulators on Friday said they have fined Barclays chief executive Jes Staley £642,430 (S$1.16 million) after he breached rules by trying to uncover a whistleblower.

[LONDON] British regulators on Friday said they have fined Barclays chief executive Jes Staley £642,430 (S$1.16 million) after he breached rules by trying to uncover a whistleblower.

They had already last month announced their intention to fine Mr Staley following a year-long investigation of US national Staley.

Barclays confirmed Friday that the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority were each fining Mr Staley around ten per cent of his annual salary, bonus and pension combined.

The London-listed lender added that it would also reduce his compensation by £500,000.

Mr Staley, who had already apologised to Barclays' shareholders over the matter that took place in 2016, said Friday that he accepts "the conclusions of the Board, the FCA, and the PRA, following their respective investigations, and the sanctions which they have each applied".

The regulators noted in a separate statement that they viewed the "misconduct as sufficiently serious for each to impose a penalty of 10 per cent of Mr Staley's relevant annual income.

"Taking into account that he has settled at an early stage, Mr Staley has been fined a combined sum of £642,430," they added.

In April 2017, Barclays revealed that Mr Staley was being probed by regulators and was to suffer a "very significant" pay cut after bypassing rules to try and uncover a whistleblower.

The incident further tarnished the bank's reputation as Barclays sought to repair its image following its role in the foreign exchange and Libor interest rate rigging scandals.

According to Barclays, an anonymous letter had been sent to board members raising concerns about a senior employee who had recently been recruited, including issues of a personal nature.

In response, Mr Staley requested that a team at the lender uncovered who wrote the letter, viewing it as "an unfair personal attack on the senior employee".

While Barclays chairman John McFarlane acknowledged a lack of judgement by Mr Staley, he gave the chief executive his support to carry on in the top role -- a decision backed by the regulators.

Neither had the regulators accused Mr Staley of acting "with a lack of integrity".

But they did argue that he had breached an individual conduct rule requiring him "to act with due skill, care and diligence".

Barclays was meanwhile not fined over the matter.

AFP

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