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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have launched an investigation into Barclays’ CEO, after a Simmons & Simmons probe concluded that he had made an “honest mistake” in the handling of a whistleblowing case.
The firm was instructed by Barclays’ board earlier this year after it emerged that Barclays boss Jes Staley had attempted to identify the author of a letter that was treated by the bank as a whistleblower in 2016.
Simmons & Simmons found that Staley “honestly, but mistakenly, believed that it was permissible to identify the author of the letter”.
An employee raised concerns over the adequacy of Barclays’ whistleblowing procedures, forcing the board to take action.
However, the board said Barclays’ boss had “made an error in becoming involved with, and not applying, appropriate governance around the matter”.
The board said it would be making a very significant compensation adjustment to Staley’s award after their own probes into the matter.
No external law firms have been instructed by the FCA and PRA, making the regulator’s in-house investigators and lawyers responsible for the new probe.
The pair are investigating both Staley’s conduct and Barclays’ own systems relating to whistleblowing.
Simmons made it onto Barclays’ panel last summer after the bank slashed its global roster by 60 per cent. The roster is reviewed every two years.
Simmons was approached for comment.
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