Barclays boss fined £640,000 after attempt to unmask whistleblower lacked "due skill, care and diligence"

Jes Staley attempted to identify the author of an anonymous letter received by Barclays, the Financial Conduct Authority says.

The boss of Barclays has been fined £642,430 by regulators over his attempt to uncover the identity of a whistleblower -writes mirror.co.uk

The Financial Conduct Authority said Jes Staley attempted to identify the author of an anonymous letter received by Barclays that claimed to be from a shareholder.

The letter contained various allegations, some of which concerned Mr Staley.

Mr Staley's attempt to identify the whistleblower in 2016 prompted investigations by City regulators last year.

As part of the penalty, Barclays is also now subject to special requirements, including having to report annually to regulators detailing how it handles whistleblowing.

The FCA found that Mr Staley "failed to act with due skill, care and diligence" in the way he acted in response to the letter.

Given his conflict, Mr Staley should have "maintained an appropriate distance" and should not have taken steps to identify the author.

"Mr Staley should have explicitly consulted fully with those with expertise and responsibility for whistleblowing in Barclays and sought express confirmation from them that what he wanted to do was permissible. He failed to do this," the FCA added.

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

"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.

"Whistleblowers play a vital role in exposing poor practice and misconduct in the financial services sector. It is critical that individuals are able to speak up anonymously and without fear of retaliation if they want to raise concerns."

Sam Woods, deputy governor for prudential regulation and chief executive of the Prudential Regulation Authority, said: "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."

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