Barclays chief fined £642k over whistleblowing incident

Barclays chief executive James Staley has landed a six-figure fine over his handling of a whistleblowing incident at the banking giant

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) have jointly fined Staley £642,430, although this has been reduced to £321,230 by a 30% discount for early settlement at Stage 1 if the fine is paid by 26 May.

Barclays will also face a tough monitoring system to ensure it adheres to the Senior Managers Regime in future, and the FCA/PRA have imposed special requirements regarding whistleblowing systems and controls at Barclays.

Barclays is now subject to special requirements by which it must report annually to the regulators detailing how it handles whistleblowing, with personal attestations required from those senior managers responsible for the relevant systems and controls.

The FCA/PRA statement said Staley failed to act with due skill, care and diligence in the way he acted in response to an anonymous letter received by Barclays in June 2016.

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.’

The investigation found that Staley tried to identify the whistleblower, which was a breach of the requirement to act with due skill, care and diligence (Individual Conduct Rule 2) but did not contravene the requirement to act with integrity (Individual Conduct Rule 1).

 This is the first case brought by the FCA and PRA under the Senior Managers Regime.

FRC/PRA Final Notice to Mr Staley

Report by Sara White


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