London (hooly News) – British bank Barclays announced Thursday that its boss Jes Staley was under investigation by regulators into his business ties with financier Jeffrey Epstein, and renewed his confidence in him.
According to a bank statement, the two main British financial regulators, the FCA and the PRA, have launched an investigation into the way in which Mr Staley spoke to his group about his past business ties with Jeffrey Epstein, a financier accused of trafficking of minors and who has since committed suicide in prison.
The investigation was opened after a first request from the financial gendarme FCA to which the group had provided an initial response.
Mr. Staley had developed a business relationship with the American financier when he headed the private banking branch of JPMorgan, that is, before he took the helm of Barclays.
Barclays says its chief executive officer confirmed to the board of directors that he has had no further contact with Jeffrey Epstein since he took office as boss of the British bank in December 2015.
After calling on a consulting firm on this matter and meeting with Mr. Staley, the Barclays board of directors believes that his boss “was sufficiently transparent” on “the nature and extent” of his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
The group therefore maintains his “full confidence” and supports his re-election to his post at the next general meeting of shareholders in the course of 2020.
Barclays says it is fully cooperating with regulators in their investigation.
This is not the first case involving Jes Staley, who was forced to pay a fine in 2018 for trying to identify a whistleblower at the bank.
These announcements on the links of Mr. Staley and Jeffrey Epstein overshadowed the publication of the bank’s annual results.
The banking giant published a jump of 54% of its net profit to 2,46 billion pounds in 2019, thanks to a fall in the cost of the litigations year on the other and the good performance of its bank of investment.
Despite huge provisions related to the PPI credit insurance scandal, the total cost of litigation has decreased by a few hundred million pounds compared to 2018.