Shares in Barclays (LON:BARC) have retreated in London this morning, underperforming the broader market, after it emerged that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) had started investigations into the group’s chief executive Jes Staley over his attempt to identify a whistleblower. The FTSE 100 lender will further issue a formal reprimand to Staley.
As of 08:32 BST, Barclays’ share price had lost 0.66 percent to 213.89p, underperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.04 percent lower at 7,346.35 points. The group’s shares have added more than 42 percent over the past year, but have given up some four percent in the year-to-date.
Barclays disclosed in a statement this morning that the FCA and the PRA had launched investigations into Jes Staley in relation to an attempt last year to identify the author of a letter which was treated by the lender as a whistleblow. The letter referred to matters of a personal nature about a senior employee who had been recruited by the group earlier that year.
The bank explained that Staley’s attempt had first come to its attention early this year after an employee raised a concern over the group’s whistleblowing procedures. The group’s board hired an external law firm, Simmons & Simmons, to look into the matter, and notified the FCA and PRA, and other relevant authorities.
Barclays' investigation concluded that Staley had “honestly, but mistakenly, believed that it was permissible to identify the author of the letter”.
“However, the Board has concluded that Mr Staley made an error in becoming involved with, and not applying appropriate governance around, the matter, and in taking action to attempt to identify the author of the letter,” Barclays pointed out, adding that it would be issuing a formal written reprimand to its chief executive and that it would make “a very significant compensation adjustment” to his variable compensation award.
Staley noted that he had apologised to the Barclays Board, and accepted its conclusion, and that he would fully cooperate with the FCA and PRA investigations.