LONDON , -- Monday's resignation of the chief executive at British bank Barclays was prompted by a report from UK regulators on his past connections with Jeffrey Epstein, a financier and sex offender.
Jes Staley previously stated that he regretted his relationship with Epstein. Epstein committed suicide in federal prison in New York while awaiting trial for sex trafficking. It is not clear that 64-year-old Staley knew about Epstein's alleged crimes.
Staley stated that he would contest the preliminary conclusions of regulators, which were shared Friday with him and the bank. The Financial Conduct Authority's and Prudential Regulation Authority's reports examined how Staley described his relationship to Epstein to Barclays in the past, when he was Epstein’s private banker at J.P. Morgan.
The report's details have not been made public and regulators have declined to comment.
Barclays stated Monday in a statement that Staley and the bank had agreed to resign due to regulators' preliminary findings, and Staley's decision not to fight them.
The bank stated that it did not find any evidence that Staley knew or saw anything about Epstein's alleged crimes. This was the "central question" behind its decision in 2019 to support its chief executive. It declined to comment further.
C.S. C.S. Barclays stated that succession planning was in place for some time and Venkatakrishnan, head of global markets for the bank, had been chosen as the preferred candidate over a year ago.
Barclays shares fell by 2% after the announcement. Staley was widely credited for doing a great job at the bank.
Barclays acknowledged him for leading the company with "commitment, skill," which helped transform operations and improve results. The bank stated that the regulatory process is still in progress and that it was not appropriate to comment on preliminary conclusions.
Analysts stated that Barclays needed to take action to avoid potential reputational damage.
Neil Wilson, Markets.com's chief market analyst, stated that Barclays has the right to pull out the plug. "It could have done it sooner."
According to the bank, Staley will receive a payout of 2.5 million pounds ($3.5 million) and other benefits for one year. Staley may also be eligible for repatriation costs to America and additional cash.