Barclays chief confirms departure after links to Jeffrey Epstein

Following links to Jeffrey Epstein coming to light, Jes Staley, Group Chief Executive at Barclays, has stepped down from his role with the banking giant. 

It comes after Barclays and were made aware on Friday evening of the preliminary conclusions from the FCA and the PRA of their investigation into Staley’s characterisation to Barclays of his relationship with Epstein and the subsequent description of that relationship in Barclays’ response to the FCA.

Staley has also confirmed his intentions to contest the probe, which commenced following a slew of emails between the previous employer of Staley. 

Staley has agreed that he will step down from his role as Group Chief Executive and as a director of Barclays. However, the findings also noted that the investigation did not determine that Staley saw, or was aware of, any of Epstein’s alleged crimes, which was the central question underpinning Barclays’ support for Staley.

After the departure of Staley, Mr C.S. Venkatakrishnan will take over as Group Chief Executive, subject to regulatory approval, and as a Director of Barclays. The Board has had succession planning in hand for some time, including reviewing potential external appointees, and identified Venkat as its preferred candidate for this role over a year ago.

Speaking last year, Staley underlined that he was regretful of his links to Epstein as he stated: “Obviously I thought I knew him well and I didn’t. For sure, with hindsight with what we know now, I deeply regret having any relationship with Jeffrey.”

Furthermore, as part of his departure, Staley is entitled to 12 months’ notice from Barclays under his contract of employment and will therefore continue to receive his current fixed pay (£2.4m per annum delivered in cash and Barclays shares), pension allowance (£120,000 per annum) and other benefits until 31 October 2022.