Thursday, 02 April, 2020

Jes Staley needs a 100% clean bill of health on Jeffrey Epstein

Little Black Book Contact information for James Little Black Book Contact information for James"Jes Staley'79 P'11 including six different phone numbers appeared in Jeffrey Epstein's"black book
Ginger Lawrence | 16 February, 2020, 12:41

After Barclays was made aware of the historical link, Staley gave an explanation of his relationship with Epstein to certain Barclays executives and the chairman a year ago, the bank said, confirming that "he has had no contact whatsoever" since he started at the United Kingdom bank. Staley, a former senior banker at JPMorgan Chase & Co., was among a swath of prominent financiers whose ties to Epstein came under the spotlight after his arrest. The bank's own review of his disclosures concluded that he'd been "sufficiently transparent"; the board unanimously recommended his reelection later this year. Profit before tax rose 26% to £4.4 billion ($5.7 billion) in 2019 from 2018, but Mr. Staley gave a cautious outlook for the year ahead.

The statement comes a few days after Barclays revealed that the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FSA) and the Bank of England's regulatory arm had opened a probe into the matter. "I'm sure with hindsight of what we all know now, I deeply regret having had any relationship with Jeffrey Epstein", he said.

Staley has been in trouble with the FCA and BoE before.

The probe is the second regulatory investigation into Staley's conduct in recent years, after the FCA and PRA fined him 642,000 pounds ($832,803) in 2018 for trying to identify a whistle-blower who sent letters criticizing a Barclays employee.

Market analyst Neil Wilson at said in light of Staley's history with the regulators "it's looking like the cat may be running out of lives..."

Barclays said the Financial Conduct Authority had asked a year ago about the relationship, and the company had responded.

Staley said his relationship with Epstein dated back to 2000 when he took over JP Morgan's private bank.

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The lender's shares fell 2.6 per cent at 8:46 London. Barclays also reported 2019 earnings on Thursday, in which it said it would be challenging to achieve its returns targets for 2020.

Barclays, which docked his pay by £500,000, was also fined US$15mln by the New York State Department of Financial Services for the "shortcomings in governance, controls and corporate culture".

Staley's push into investment banking has been paying off for Barclays, but it matters more that the British lender can show it has a sound culture at the top. (A spokesman told the Times Staley had not been aware).

"Obviously I thought I knew him well and I didn't", Staley told journalists Thursday. In April 2015, Staley and his wife visited Epstein at his private Caribbean island.

Staley said on Thursday that his relationship with Epstein "began to taper off as I left JPM and contact became much less frequent in 2013, 2014", before ending in 2015.

-With assistance from Marion Dakers and Donal Griffin.