Ex-Barclays Bank boss Staley banned from senior UK finance roles over misleading Epstein statements

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s financial regulator said Thursday that it fined Barclay’s former chief executive Jes Staley 1.8 million pounds ($2.2 million) and banned him from holding senior financial roles for misleading it over the nature of his relationship with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement that Staley, a U.S. citizen, had “recklessly approved” a letter sent by Barclays to the FCA, which claimed the bank’s former boss did not have a close relationship with Epstein.

But in email messages, Staley described Epstein as one of his “deepest” and “most cherished” friends, according to the regulator.

“A CEO needs to exercise sound judgement and set an example to staff at their firm,” said Therese Chambers, joint executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA. “Staley failed to do this. We consider that he misled both the FCA and the Barclays board about the nature of his relationship with Epstein.”

As a result, Chambers said it is “right” to prevent him from holding a senior position in the financial services industry.

Staley, 66, was ousted from Barclays in 2021 over his ties to Epstein.

The FCA’s decision is provisional and Staley can appeal at an ensuing tribunal.

Barclays said that following the FCA’s decision, Staley was ineligible for, or would forfeit, bonuses and share awards totaling 17.8 million pounds (21.9 million).

The banking giant had already suspended all of Staley’s deferred bonuses and long-term share awards while the watchdog investigated.

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