A chief executive at a prominent high street bank who took a number of steps to uncover a ‘whistleblowing’ employee is facing up to £1 million in fines.
Mr Jes Staley, a senior exec at Barclays, broke a number of rules in a bid to unmask an employee who had penned two anonymous letters to the bank’s management in June 2016, both of which made serious accusations against another chief executive, Mr Tim Main.
Upon the board’s receipt, the two letters were treated as a whistleblowing matter and the claims made against Mr Main were subsequently investigated.
But Mr Staley “failed to act with due skill, care and diligence” by personally instructing his own security team to locate the person who had made the allegations, The Telegraph reports.
At a later date, the anxious chief exec apologised for his “mistake” in making two attempts to identify the whistleblower via his own means and claimed that he was not aware that a firm must make every effort to protect the identity of a whistleblower under English law.
Mr Staley was fortunate enough to be cleared of acting with “a lack of integrity” – a charge which could potentially have cost him his career.
However, after being accused of taking a soft approach to tackling the issue, regulators the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority are now understood to be planning on handing Mr Staley a substantial fine.
According to reports, the Barclays boss is expected to be fined up to 10 per cent of his 2016 salary, while the bank’s board is also considering ‘clawing back’ the chief exec’s 2016 bonus.
Although the exact amount Mr Staley will be fined is yet to be confirmed, most sources estimate that he will be ordered to pay approximately £1 million.
It remains yet to be seen whether Mr Staley will move to appeal the decision.