Barclays Boss Under Investigation for Business Ties to Jeffrey Epstein

Barclays boss Jes Staley is the subject of an investigation by British regulators into his business ties with financier Jeffrey Epstein, which did not prevent the bank from renewing 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 given an initial response.

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 interviewing Mr. Staley, the Barclays board of directors believes that his boss “was sufficiently transparent” about “the nature and extent” of his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

The group therefore maintains his “full confidence” and supports his re-election to his position at the next general meeting of shareholders next May.

Barclays specifies that the board of directors fully cooperates with the 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 relegated to the background the publication of the annual results of the bank and resulted in a drop of 2.26% to 175.28 pence of the price on the London Stock Exchange around 08:50 GMT.

The group released a 54% jump in net profit to 2.46 billion pounds in 2019, thanks to a drop in the cost of litigation from year to year and the good performance of its investment bank .

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.

Barclays has achieved a 9% return on equity for 2019 as planned and continues to target a figure above 10% but recognizes that this objective will be difficult to achieve in 2020 given the low interest rate environment in the world .