Former top regulator Sants resigns from Barclays due to stress

Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:44pm EST
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By Steve Slater

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's former top financial industry regulator Hector Sants has resigned from Barclays (BARC.L: Quote), citing stress and exhaustion, 10 months after joining the bank as head of compliance.

Barclays said on Wednesday its head of technology, Shaygan Kheradpir, had also resigned to become chief executive of Juniper Networks (JNPR.N: Quote), dealing a double blow to Chief Executive Antony Jenkins' attempts to revive the bank and restore its reputation.

Sants, 57, had been on sick leave since the beginning of October, and decided he will not be able to return to work in the near term so has resigned, Barclays said.

The former investment banker ran Britain's Financial Services Authority (FSA) through the financial crisis and joined Barclays at the start of this year, but he is the latest executive to show the strains of the financial crisis and its aftermath on employees' health.

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote) Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio took two months off at the end of 2011 on doctors' orders after suffering sleep deprivation and exhaustion. He returned to work in early 2012 and has been praised for leading Lloyds' turnaround and has been held up as an example to counter the stigma of mental illness.

Hiring Sants was seen as a coup for Barclays after it was fined $450 million in summer 2012 by the FSA and U.S. regulators for attempted manipulation of Libor interest rates.

Sants, who was knighted in 2013 for services to financial services and regulation, was tasked with helping Jenkins restore Barclays' reputation and improve relations with regulators.

He had a busy start as the bank came under scrutiny for several conduct issues, including an investigation into advisory fees to Qatari investors who helped bail it out during the financial crisis and a $453 million fine imposed by a U.S. energy regulator in July.   Continued...