Barclays’ (LON:BARC) chief executive Jes Staley has been fined by regulators over his attempt to uncover a whistleblower, the FTSE 100 lender has disclosed. The scandal will cost him a total of £1.1 million after the blue-chip group decided to trim his compensation.
Barclays’ share price has slipped into the red in today’s session, having given up 0.28 percent to 213.20p as of 13:15 BST, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing at 7,701.06 points, flat in percentage terms. The group’s shares have added a little over three percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about 4.3-percent gain in the Footsie.
Jes Staley fined
Barclays announced in a statement today that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) had issued confidential draft warning notices to its Jes Staley over his attempt in 2016 to identify the author of an anonymous letter. The FCA and PRA confirmed their findings that his actions represented a breach of Individual Conduct Rule 2 and imposed financial penalties on Staley of £321,200 and £321,230 respectively, or £642,430 in aggregate. Following the resolution of the FCA and PRA processes Barclays said that it had decided to reduce the awarded value of his variable compensation for 2016 by £500,000.
The regulators, however, did not find that Staley had acted with a lack of integrity, nor did they find that he lacked fitness and propriety to continue to perform his role as Barclays CEO.
Experts weigh in
“In terms of level of the fine, he did indeed get away lightly,” Tom Kirchmaier, professor of governance at Copenhagen Business School, told Bloomberg. “He would have known that this is very much not what is expected from a CEO, and so the fine is not much more than a very light warning.”
The Telegraph meanwhile reported that lawyers had complained in recent weeks that the regulators’ decision not to ban Staley would deter other would-be whistleblowers.
“This was an opportunity for UK regulators to say they will protect whistleblowers, and they blew it,” Erika Kelton, a partner and whistleblowing attorney at Phillips and Cohen, told the newspaper.