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Bank boss steps down over Epstein enquiry

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Written by: Emma Lunn
01/11/2021
Barclays chief executive Jes Staley has stepped down following an investigation into his links to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England have been investigating Staley’s links to the dead financier.

Staley used to work at US investment bank JP Morgan where Epstein was a client, and the pair developed a ‘professional relationship’.

Epstein was later convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor in 2008, but Staley admitted he maintained contact with Epstein for seven years after his conviction. Epstein died in a New York prison cell in 2019.

The FCA and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) announced last year that they were carrying out an investigation into Staley’s “characterisation to the company of his relationship” with Epstein.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The repercussions from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal stretch far and wide, and now Barclays finds itself at the centre of the storm.

“For the chief executive, Jes Staley to step down following an investigation by city regulators into his into his dealings with Epstein, it’s clear the conclusions of the probe are critical. While the probe did not centre on Mr Staley’s role at Barclays but what he disclosed about his previous position at JP Morgan, what was under question was how he characterised his former relationship with the disgraced financier.

“Although detail is limited, it appears regulators believe there was a distinct lack of transparency over this relationship. It’s understood Mr Staley will contest the conclusions, and clearly the board want to distance Barclays from what could be a long drawn out process.”

A statement from the FCA said: “The FCA and PRA do not comment on ongoing investigations or regulatory proceedings beyond confirming the regulatory actions as detailed in the firm’s announcement.”

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