Jes Staley, Barclays’ Chief Executive, is being investigated by regulators over apparent attempts to uncover the identity of a Whistleblower last year.
The whistleblower, The Guardian reports, raised, “amongst other issues . . . concerns of a personal nature about the senior employee, Mr Staley’s knowledge of and role in dealing with those issues at a previous employer, and the appropriateness of the recruitment process followed on this occasion by Barclays”. Barclays have confirmed the investigation.
They iterated that Staley had “honestly, but mistakenly, believed that it was permissible to identify the author of the letter”. The bank said they became aware of Staley’s endeavours early this year. An investigation by law firm Simmons & Simmons has now been launched, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have also been notified. His actions were discovered as “a result of a concern raised by an employee regarding. amongst other matters. the adequacy of Barclays Whistleblowing procedures”.
However, the bank will stand by Staley after they “accepted his explanation that he was trying to protect a colleague who had experienced personal difficulties in the past from what he believed to be an unfair attack, and has accepted his apology”. He will have “the Board’s unanimous confidence” at their annual general meeting next month.
Barclays’ Co-Chairman, John McFarlane, has expressed his disappointment at the news, emphasising that “the Board takes Barclays culture and the integrity of its controls extremely seriously”. Staley has apologised: “I have apologised to the Barclays Board, and accepted its conclusion that my personal actions in this matter were errors on my part. I will also accept whatever sanction it deems appropriate. I will cooperate fully with the FCA and the PRA, which are now both examining this matter. “Our whistleblowing process is one of the most important means by which we protect our culture and values at Barclays and I certainly want to ensure that all colleagues, and others who may utilise it, understand the criticality which I attach to it.”
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Link to HR Grapevine article with quotes used above: https://www.hrgrapevine.com/content/article/news-2017-04-10-barclays-ceo-investigated-after-trying-to-identify-whistleblowerHR