The American boss of one of Britain’s biggest banks announced his resignation on Monday following an investigation into his ties to late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Barclays and its chief executive Jes Staley, 64, learned “the preliminary conclusions” of the investigation by Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority on Friday evening, the bank said.
“In view of those conclusions, and Mr Staley’s intention to contest them, the Board and Mr Staley have agreed that he will step down from his role as Group Chief Executive and as a director of Barclays,” the bank said Monday.
“It should be noted that the investigation makes no findings that Mr Staley saw, or was aware of, any of Mr Epstein’s alleged crimes, which was the central question underpinning Barclays’ support for Mr Staley following the arrest of Mr Epstein in the summer of 2019.”
“The Board is disappointed at this outcome.”
CS Venkatakrishnan, the bank’s former head of global markets, will take over as chief executive immediately, the bank said.
Barclays paid Staley, who became CEO of the bank in 2015, almost $5.5 million in 2020, according to the bank’s annual report, and the bank said Monday he will continue to receive his current fixed pay of almost $3.3 million per year until October of 2022.
He will also continue to get his pension allowance of more than $160,000 until then, and the bank will pay for his repatriation to the US.
“No decisions have yet been made in respect of any further remuneration payments to be made to Mr Staley,” the bank said.
Staley previously insisted that he only had a “professional relationship” with Epstein — but maintained contact with him for several years, even after Epstein was convicted of having sex with underage girls.
Barclays said it challenged Staley over his ties to the perverted moneyman in 2019 when the Epstein scandal blew up after he was charged with further serious sex crimes and ultimately hanged himself.
The information Staley provided about his relationship with Epstein was used to defend the banker in an initial investigation by the FCA.
But the PRA joined the investigation in 2020 and challenged the way Staley had characterized his relationship with the disgraced financier.
The Boston-born banker previously said he “deeply regrets” his friendship with the pedophile, whom he first met in 2000 when he took charge of JP Morgan’s private banking division and Epstein was “already a client” in New York.
“The relationship was maintained during my time at JP Morgan, but as I left JP Morgan, the relationship tapered off quite significantly,” Staley previously said.
Staley said his last contact was in the summer and autumn of 2015, seven years after Epstein was convicted and jailed for sex with a minor. The banker has insisted he had no further contact after joining Barclays as CEO in December 2015.
“Obviously I thought I knew him well and I didn’t,” Staley told reporters in 2020.
“For sure, with hindsight with what we know now, I deeply regret having any relationship with Jeffrey.”
Additional reporting by Lee Brown