Upper Tribunal reverses FCA ban of former Barclays Wealth COO

The Upper Tribunal has published its decision on Andrew Tinney, the former COO of Barclays Wealth, finding that he had behaved recklessly and breached his obligation to act with integrity, but that his misdemeanors did not merit a ban.

Related topics:  Regulation
Rozi Jones
16th August 2019
FCA new
"Mr Tinney failed to act with integrity in one telling instance which is enough to justify this censure."

In March 2012, Tinney received a document which contained critical findings about the culture within Barclays Wealth’s US branch, Barclays Wealth Americas. Subsequently, the Chairman of Barclays Bank received an anonymous email alleging that “a Wealth cultural audit report” had been suppressed. Tinney assisted in drafting a response to this allegation.

The Upper Tribunal found that Tinney was reckless in giving the impression that the document did not exist and that his conduct failed to meet the required standard of integrity.

The FCA also alleged that he made false or misleading statements to his colleagues in a response to the US Federal Reserve Bank of New York in November 2012 about the same document. The Upper Tribunal did not uphold this allegation.

The Upper Tribunal also found that, following these events, Tinney made a misleading statement to his professional regulator (the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) concerning the nature of his conduct. However, the Upper Tribunal did not uphold the separate allegation that Mr Tinney had misled the FCA.

As a result, the Tribunal did not uphold the FCA's belief that his actions merited a prohibition order.

Instead, the Upper Tribunal decided that the appropriate sanction was for the FCA to publish a statement of Tinney’s misconduct (a public censure).

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: "Senior management must be held to high standards of integrity which is the fundamental cornerstone of good conduct in trusted markets. Mr Tinney failed to act with integrity in one telling instance which is enough to justify this censure."

A statement on behalf of Andrew Tinney read: The FCA went after the wrong person. Mr Tinney was trying to fix Barclays' toxic culture and the cultural and compliance failings of its senior management. Instead he was scapegoated by Barclays' senior management.

"Finally, after more than five long years of relentless pursuit by the FCA, Mr Tinney is delighted that the Upper Tribunal has recognised that he did not mislead the FCA nor the New York Fed and no documents were destroyed. The ultimate outcome is that he is free, once again to work for any financial services firm in any role."

Harvey Knight, partner at law firm Withers LLP, who acted for Andrew Tinney, commented: "This is an unprecedented Upper Tribunal judgment. With the Upper Tribunal having upheld the FCA's own decision not to fine Mr Tinney, the FCA has also now decided not to pursue a prohibition order against Mr Tinney in the wake of that Upper Tribunal judgment. Put bluntly, Mr Tinney is free to work again in the financial services industry in any role. This is telling. The FCA has serious questions to answer about why it decided to pursue this case."

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