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Barclays CEO Jes Staley arrives at 10 Downing Street in London
Image: Barclays CEO Jes Staley arrives at 10 Downing Street in London. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Barclays Chief Exec Jess Staley Fined Over £600k

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Image: Barclays CEO Jes Staley arrives at 10 Downing Street in London. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Jes Staley received the penalty as a result of trying to find out the identity of a whistleblower.

The whistleblower in question was the author of two anonymous letters that was issued in 2016.

The £642,430 Fine

Jes Staley, Barclays chief exec, was slapped with a £642,430 fine for his actions in trying to identify a whistleblower. That anonymous individual brought out a scandal at the bank back in 2016. City regulators found that Staley had been attempting to identify the individual behind that anonymous letters issued the fine as a penalty.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) from the Bank of England stated in April that Staley would receive a fine for his actions. The fine was for a breach of conduct rules.

The Role of Whistleblowing

The fine was confirmed by the watchdogs which also stated they had placed certain special requirements into place. These will help to determine what is acceptable when it comes to whistleblowing systems and the controls at Barclays.

The letters called into question a senior Barclays employee who had been recruited by the bank earlier in 2016.

“Given the crucial role of the chief executive, the standard of due skill, care and diligence is more demanding than for other employees,” said FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight, Mark Steward. “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.”

Steward went on to explain that the role of whistleblowers is “vital” to the financial services sector when it comes to “exposing poor practice and misconduct.” He explained that it is important for people to feel confident in their anonymity when speaking up “without fear of retaliation if they want to raise concerns.”

Protecting Whistleblowers

Sam Woods, chief exec at the PRA, underscored that “Protection for whistleblowers is an essential part of keeping the financial system safe and sound. Mr. Staley’s behaviour fell below the standard we require, resulting in today’s fine and public censure. In addition, Barclays is now subject to special requirements to report to the PRA and FCA how it handles its whistleblowing cases in the coming years.”

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.