Barclays reprimands chief executive for trying to identify whistleblower

Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:31pm EDT
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By Lawrence White and Carolyn Cohn

LONDON (Reuters) - British bank Barclays (BARC.L: Quote) has reprimanded Chief Executive Jes Staley and will cut his bonus heavily after he tried to uncover the identity of an internal company whistleblower in a case being investigated on both sides of the Atlantic.

In a statement on Monday, Britain's second biggest bank disclosed that British authorities were investigating American Staley's attempts to find out who wrote a letter that revealed "concerns of a personal nature" about an unnamed senior employee.

New York's Department of Financial Services is also investigating, a person familiar with the matter said.

A legal investigation ordered by the bank found that Staley's efforts involved a U.S. law enforcement agency and contradicted the company's own policy. Barclays grants whistleblowers anonymity to prevent any retribution for their actions - in keeping with normal UK practice.

"I have apologized to the Barclays board, and accepted its conclusion that my personal actions in this matter were errors on my part," former JPMorgan banker Staley said in a statement.

Barclays said its board would back Staley's reappointment at the company's annual shareholder meeting on May 10.

Analysts said that Staley's position as CEO could come under pressure if regulators' reports on the case, expected to take a matter of months, were especially critical of his conduct.

Staley, who took the role in Dec. 2015, stands to lose a chunk of the 1.3 million pound ($1.6 million) bonus he was awarded this year, but the final amount to be docked is yet to be decided, a separate source said.   Continued...

FILE PHOTO: Jes Staley, CEO of Barclays bank, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 20, 2017.  REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/File Photo