Barclays’ top brass is in the regulatory crosshairs. Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley has been put under investigation by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Department of Financial Services in NY for the attempted unmasking of a whistleblower.
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The dual investigation is probing Mr. Staley’s role in potentially violating whistleblower laws which seek to protect informants in both the UK and the US, according to a Bloomberg report. The allegations center on Mr. Staley responding to an anonymous complaint regarding a senior executive at Barclays – an investigation is ongoing, however the group’s board has already slapped Staley with a sizable pay cut.
On its part, Barclays has pushed back on the allegations, referencing them as ‘disconnected from the facts’. Any potential sign of violations of whistleblower law could also result in a fresh round of fines for Barclays. Regulators in the US in particular have been much more focused of late on whistleblower programs, awarding record sums for cooperation.
News of an investigation comes at a trying time for Staley, who has been trying to steer the bank at a critical junction as it faces a litany of industry headwinds and questions surrounding profitability. Since late last year, the group has been slashing its office space in London ahead of a formal Brexit, while also offloading components of its wealth and investment management business in Asia.