Regulation

Barclays receives $15m fine over whistleblowing conduct

The DFS found that several members of senior management failed to follow or apply whistleblowing policies and procedures to protect CEO, Jes Staley.

Rozi Jones
|
19th December 2018
Jes Staley Barclays
" DFS’s thorough investigation uncovered actions at the top that exposed the bank to risk"

Barclays has been fined $15 million by US regulators after its CEO sought to identify the author of two whistleblowing letters

The New York Department of Financial Services says the conduct violated New York banking law and represented shortcomings in governance, controls and corporate culture which could have had a "detrimental impact" on its whistleblowing function.

The DFS found that several members of senior management failed to follow or apply whistleblowing policies and procedures to protect CEO, Jes Staley, and the bank itself.

Its investigation found that in 2016, Jes Staley personally directed the head of Barclays’ Group Security to identify the whistleblower in an attempt to protect a friend and colleague from what he perceived to be a 'false and malicious' attack.

The letters also criticised Staley’s own role, and the role of the bank’s management, in recruiting and employing the senior executive who was at the centre of the allegations.

The DFS noted that Barclays provided "substantial cooperation" to the investigation and has since implemented additional whistleblowing controls.

In May, the FCA and PRA fined Staley a total of £642,430 for failing to act with "due skill, care and diligence" relating to the whistleblowing conduct.

Superintendent Maria Vullo said: “Whistleblowers are vital to uncovering and addressing intentional wrongdoing. DFS’s thorough investigation uncovered actions at the top that exposed the bank to risk and created an atmosphere in which employees might doubt that it was safe to escalate issues of concern to the bank.

“The Department recognizes and appreciates Mr. Staley’s commendable and constructive steps to accept responsibility for his actions, apologize to employees of the bank, and recommit to DFS that he will oversee an independent and effective whistleblowing function.”

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