Barclays chief executive Jes Staley is stepping down, following the release of the first results of a formal investigation into his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein who was convicted of rape, a UK-based bank said on Monday.
The decision to resign was made by Staley and the bank board after hearing the results of an initial investigation by the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) into Staley's description of Barclays "in his relationship with the late Mr. Jeffrey Epstein Barclays "to the authorities, according to a statement issued by NBC News. Staley plans to challenge the findings, the bank said.
Barclays said the investigation "found no evidence that Mr. Staley saw, or knew, any charges against him. Epstein, which was a fundamental question that supported Barclays' support for Mr. Staley following the arrest of Mr. Epstein in the summer of 2019. ”
From then on, the new chief executive will be CS Venkatakrishnan, better known as Venkat, who has been Staley's partner since taking over the JPMorgan private bank in New York. Last September, Venkat and another senior lieutenant were assigned the same leadership roles in what was seen as Staley's succession seat.
Staley, from the United States, will continue to receive his salary for the next 12 months and the bank will pay for his return to the U.S., Barclays said.
In 1999, Staley became the head of JPMorgan's independent bank. The following year, he had a working relationship with Epstein, who then began sending customers to him, reports Bloomberg.
The investigation began after U.S. regulators. have received dozens of emails from JPMorgan sent between the two men during Staley's banking session suggesting that their relationship was closer than just the professional organization Staley had mentioned, according to the Financial Times.
Leaving college, Epstein proved himself an influential financier and attended high-profile social gatherings that included former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, British prince Andrew and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.
Epstein was found dead in prison by hanging in 2019 after being arrested on a number of charges, including sex trafficking, which he did not deny.
In 2008 Epstein pleaded guilty to one count of child prostitution and sentenced him to 13 months in prison. But he continued to keep in touch with powerful business, financial and political players.
The New York Times reported that Staley visited Epstein in prison while serving his sentence from 2008 to 2009. A Barclays spokesman told the Wall Street Journal in a statement that Staley had visited the private island of Epstein twice with his wife.
Staley told reporters last February that his relationship with Epstein was "very strained" after he left JPMorgan in 2013, and that he had not seen a disappointed investor since taking over at Barclays in 2015.
“I thought I knew him well, but I didn't. I'm sure looking back on what we all know now, I deeply regret having a relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, ”he said at the time. Staley did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Epstein's links with prominent men have returned to haunt some of them. In March, billionaire investor Leon Black resigned from Apollo Global Management, a privately owned budget company, after an external review found that he had paid Epstein $ 158 million in taxes and property repairs from 2012 to 2017.
In a letter to the board announcing his departure, Black cited "endless public attention and media scrutiny about my relationship with Jeffrey Epstein - although Dechert's full report concluded that there was no evidence that I had done anything wrong" - such as taking action. his health. He said he would focus on his family and his "health problems" with his wife.
Prince Andrew has resigned from the throne in his encounter with Epstein, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates said it was "a big mistake" to spend time with him.
"The consequences of Jeffrey Epstein's scandal come from afar, and now Barclays find itself in the middle of a storm," Susannah Streeter, senior investment and marketing analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said in a statement Monday.
The FCA and PRA said in a statement they would not be able to comment further on the Epstein investigation.