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NEWSLETTERS & ALERTS
Barclays CEO Reprimanded for Trying to Unmask Whistleblower
[Photo: Bloomberg News]
Barclays CEO Jes Staley has gotten himself in some very hot water, by trying to identify a bank whistleblower in a case that is under investigation by British and New York State authorities. In his explanation to the bank’s board, Mr. Staley said he was trying to protect a colleague from what he believed to be an unfair attack
The bank board, which first learned about Mr. Staley’s actions in early January, conducted an internal investigation into the matter. Based on the results of that investigation, and upon Mr. Staley’s explanation that he was trying to protect a colleague from what he believed to be an unfair attack, the board concluded that Staley’s actions ran contrary to the bank’s whistleblower protection policies and that he should be reprimanded by having his bonus heavily cut. The board, however, will continue to support Staley’s reappointment as CEO at the bank’s annual shareholders meeting in May.
The issue was made public Monday morning when the bank issued a statement disclosing that British authorities were investigating Mr. Staley’s attempts to find out who wrote a letter that revealed “concerns of a personal nature” about an unnamed senior executive. Since then we’ve learned that New York’s Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) is also investigating the matter. For his part, Mr. Staley issued a public apology on Monday to the bank’s staff
“I have apologized to the Barclays board, and accepted its conclusion that my personal actions in this matter were errors on my part,” said Staley, a former JPMorgan banker who became Barclays CEO just 15 months ago.
GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATIONS. The government probes are expected to several months and their outcomes could determine whether Barclays Bank and Jes Staley face any disciplinary action. These latest probes are ill-timed, in that the bank is still dealing with investigations into employees’ manipulation of the Libor benchmark interest rates.