Investor criticizes Barclays chairman over Jes Staley fallout
Under pressure: Nigel Higgins
Barclays chairman Nigel Higgins is under pressure to resign after a major group of shareholders said there were “questions about his position” at the bank.
Former Barclays boss Jes Staley has been fined and banned from town for misleading regulators and the lender’s board about his relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
A devastating report from the Financial Conduct Authority found that Staley had “recklessly approved” a letter sent by Barclays to the City watchdog in 2019 that included the misleading claim that Staley’s last contact with Epstein had been “long before ” of him joining Barclays as chief executive. four years earlier.
Critics have suggested that the board, led by Higgins since May 2019, took Staley’s assurances at face value. The Mail on Sunday revealed links between Staley and Epstein three days before his appointment at Barclays in 2015.
The FCA report shows that Staley also told Epstein that an anonymous member of Barclays’ board had approached him about the chief executive vacancy four months earlier, even before the official recruitment process began.
A spokesman for investor advisory group PIRC said: ‘There are clearly doubts about Higgins’ position. There are also questions about which board member recommended Staley.’
Staley lost his position as chief executive in 2019 and was fined £1.8m. He plans to appeal the FCA’s decision. Barclays declined to comment.