Barclays CEO fined about $870k on whistle-blower incident

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The chief executive of Barclays Jes Staley has been slapped with a £642,430 fine by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) over his failings relating to a whistleblower at the bank.

The FCA and Prudential Regulation Authority will impose the financial penalty on Staley for failing to behave "with due skill, care and diligence" in the whistleblower scandal.

British regulators said Staley cooperated with their investigations and therefore qualified for a 30 percent discount on a fine that otherwise would have been upwards of £900,000.

These regulatory processes have now concluded, and today the FCA and PRA have published final notices confirming their finding that Mr Staley's actions in relation to this matter represented a breach of Individual Conduct Rule 2 ( requirement to act withdue skill, careand diligence).

"I think it is sending entirely the wrong message, especially given that this is the person who is responsible for setting the tone at the top", said Mary Inman, a partner specialising in whistleblowers at law firm Constantine Cannon. "Clearly Mr Staley has failed in this regard", said Nicky Morgan, chair of the influential cross-party treasury committee on finance.

The issue dates back to June 2016, when members of the Barclays board received anonymous letters raising concerns about a senior employee who had been recruited by the bank earlier that year. "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".

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Tracking down the whistleblower became a transatlantic effort, the regulators' report showed.

Experts believe the fact the author of the letters was not a Barclays employee might have helped Staley's case, as there are strict rules created to protect internal company whistleblowers.

Many will think that Jes Staley has got off lightly.

This is the first case brought by the FCA under the senior managers regime (SMR).

"Having loads of policies and procedures around whistleblowing is only as good as an organisation's desire to adhere to them, otherwise they are just paper", said Carn.

In April, Barclays said the regulators had proposed Staley pay a fine but the amount was undisclosed.

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