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Ex-Barclays Chief Under Pressure for Epstein Ties

The UK Financial Conduct Authority has expressed concerns over how Staley described his links to the disgraced former billionaire financier.

Alena Vogt Feb 23, 2022

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Jes Staley headed banking group Barclays (BCS) -0.19% for six years. In November of 2021 he unexpectedly stepped down from the position after questionable ties to disgraced financier and convicted child-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein were discovered.

The FCA and other City of London watchdogs were concerned about how Staley described his relationship to Epstein, after several emails between the two were handed over by US regulators. The content of the emails and the results of the findings are still under wraps; however, Staley has been contesting the outcomes by the FCA.

When Staley stepped down in November, he received a cushy pay-packet of £2.5 million for his services to the bank, which also included a pension allowance. As the bank’s 2021 financial results are due to drop today, the ex-chief is theoretically still entitled to share award pay-outs.

Staley owns over £30 million worth in shares of the bank, some outright some uninvested and some performance conditioned. As a result of the investigation going on, Barclay’s has decided to freeze the shares awarded to Staley as a bonus “pending further developments in respect of the regulatory and legal proceedings related to the ongoing FCA and PRA investigation regarding Mr Staley” (The Guardian, 2022).

Generally, Barclay’s increased its bonuses for existing staff by over 17% to £1.3 billion as a result of growing annual profits. The bank reported a pre-tax profit of £8.4 billion, doubling the annual profit of 2020. Additionally, the release of a cushion, originally set aside to face possible Covid related issues, contributed a great deal to the profit surge.

CS Venkatakrishmnan, the banking groups new CEO, stated:

“Barclays demonstrated a clear and sustainable path to growth over the course of 2021. Our strategic priorities will continue to develop the diversified business model that we have established, investing in advanced technology capabilities in our consumer business, delivering sustainable growth across our global corporate and investment bank and reinforcing our commitment to aiding the transition to a low-carbon economy.” (The Guardian, 2022).

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*Stock prices taken on 23.02.2022 at 10:56.

*Lily Russell-Jones (22. February 2022). City AM: Barclays freezes share awards for ex-boss as Staley fights Epstein probe. Last viewed on 23.02.2022 on https://www.cityam.com/barclays-freezes-share-awards-for-ex-boss-as-staley-fights-epstein-probe/.

Kalyeena Makortoff (23. February 2022). The Guardian: Barclays freezes bonuses for ex-boss Jes Staley amid Epstein investigation. Last viewed on 23.02.2022 on https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/feb/23/barclays-boosts-bonuses-to-13bn-jes-staley-after-doubling-annual-pre-tax-profits.

Alena Vogt

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