Barclays’ (LON:BARC) shareholders have slammed the lender’s chief executive Jes Staley, while warning that it is ‘entirely possible’ that regulators will force him out, The Telegraph has reported. The news came after it emerged this week that he was under investigation for breaking rules designed to protect whistleblowers by trying more than once to uncover the identity of the writer of an anonymous letter which referred to matters of a personal nature about a senior employee.
Barclays’ share price fell in London yesterday, shedding 0.56 percent to close at 215.00p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index adding 16.56 points to close 0.23 percent higher at 7,365.50. The group’s shares have gained more than 40 percent over the past year, as compared with an over 18-percent rise in the Footsie.
The Telegraph reported yesterday that shareholders had criticised Jes Staley for tarnishing the bank’s reputation, after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) started investigations over his attempts to identify a whistleblower.
“I can understand him pursuing this once but pursuing twice when he’s been told no, it becomes a lot harder to go: ‘honest guv, that was a mistake’,” one influential Barclays investor told the newspaper. “If you’re going to be in these roles you’ve got to be whiter than white.”
The Telegraph also quoted Euan Stirling, head of stewardship at Standard Life Investments, a top 20 shareholder in the FTSE 100 bank, as warning that it was ‘entirely possible’ that the FCA and PRA could push Staley out.
“As to whether the chief executive remains in post, clearly the board has made one choice and it is entirely possible that the regulators make a different choice,” he added. Barclays said on Monday that it would issue a formal written reprimand to its chief executive and that it would make “a very significant compensation adjustment” to his variable compensation award.