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Barclays fined $15m over whistleblowing scandal

Barclays fined $15m over whistleblowing scandal

Barclays has received a $15 million (£11.8 million) fine from the US regulators due to chief executive Jes Staley’s attempts at uncovering a whistleblower in 2016.

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) said it found shortcomings in the bank’s governance, controls and corporate culture, following its investigation.

Superintendent Maria Vullo said: ‘Whistleblowers are vital to uncovering and addressing intentional wrongdoing. DFS’s thorough investigation uncovered actions at the top that exposed the bank to risk and created an atmosphere in which employees might doubt that it was safe to escalate issues of concern to the bank.’

She added: ‘The Department recognizes and appreciates Mr Staley’s commendable and constructive steps to accept responsibility for his actions, apologise to employees of the bank, and recommit to DFS that he will oversee an independent and effective whistleblowing function.’

In May, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) decided to take action against Staley after concluding a year-long investigation into the matter. The regulator imposed a personal fine of £642,000 on Staley (pictured), while Barclays cut £500,000 from his bonus.

The probe into Staley was launched in April after it emerged he had attempted to identify the author of a whistleblower letter that first came to the attention of the Barclays board in early 2017. 

The board – led by deputy chair and senior independent director Sir Gerry Grimstone – immediately instructed external law firm Simmons & Simmons to conduct an investigation into the incident.

The board also notified the FCA and PRA and other relevant authorities.

'I have apologised to the Barclays board, and accepted its conclusion that my personal actions in this matter were errors on my part. I will also accept whatever sanction it deems appropriate,' Staley said in a statement at the time.

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