The American chief executive of Barclays (BCS), Jes Staley, is stepping down with immediate effect following an investigation by British regulators into his relationship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, the bank said on Monday.
The investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) was disclosed by Barclays in early 2020 and focused on how Staley had characterized the relationship to his employer. Barclays and Staley were made aware on Friday evening by the FCA and the PRA of the preliminary conclusions of their investigation.
“In view of those conclusions, and Mr Staley’s intention to contest them, the board [of Barclays] and Mr Staley have agreed that he will step down from his role as group chief executive and as a director of Barclays,” Barclays said in its statement on Monday. “It should be noted that the investigation makes no findings that Mr Staley saw, or was aware of, any of Mr Epstein’s alleged crimes, which was the central question underpinning Barclays’ support for Mr Staley following the arrest of Mr Epstein in the summer of 2019,” the bank added, saying it was not appropriate for it to comment further.
A spokesperson for the FCA and PRA said the regulators “do not comment on ongoing investigations or regulatory proceedings” beyond confirming the actions detailed in the statement from Barclays.