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Timeline: Barclays CEO Jes Staley

A look back at the Barclays boss and his connection with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein

Jes Staley, Barclays

1979: James ‘Jes’ Staley joins commercial lender and bond dealer Morgan Guaranty, a forerunner to JPMorgan.

1999: Staley was appointed boss of JPMorgan’s private bank, whose many clients included financier Jeffery Epstein, who referred “dozens” of clients to Staley, the New York Times reported.

2001: Was promoted to CEO of JPM asset management.

2008: Epstein is imprisoned in New York for soliciting prostitution. Staley visited Epstein in prison, the NYT reports.

2009: Staley is made boss of the whole investment banking arm of JPMorgan. 

Jan 2013: Staley leaves job as chairman of JPMorgan’s investment banking arm to join hedge fund Blue Mountain Capital Management.

Apr 2015: Staley visits Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean for several hours with his wife, Bloomberg has since reported. Staley now says his relationship with Epstein “began to taper off as I left JPM and contact became much less frequent in 2013, 2014” and ended in 2015

May 2015: Barclays is fined £284.4mln by the FCA as part of a £1.5bn settlement with the City watchdog and four US regulators. Barclays was also ordered to pay $115m to the US Department of Justice because the activity violated agreements made in the aftermath of a US$450mln fine for Libor rigging in 2012.

Jul 2015: Barclays board fires CEO Antony Jenkins, as they and major investors were apparently not happy with the slow pace of turnaround. 

Oct 2015: Barclays hires James ‘Jes’ Staley from Blue Mountain, its fifth chief executive in seven years.

Jun 2016: An anonymous letter is received by Barclays, raising concerns over the appointment of a senior staff member that Staley had hired. The letter, which claimed to be from a shareholder, “John Q. Public”, contained “various allegations, some of which concerned Mr Staley”, it was later revealed. Another letter was later sent that raised questions about the bank's whistleblowing process.

May 2018: Staley is fined £642,430 by UK regulators the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and had £500,000 docked from his pay by Barclays over his attempt to unmask the identity of an anonymous whistleblower, including asking the bank's security team to track them down. A statement says Staley “failed to act with skill, care and diligence”. Staley said he felt that the letter had tried to “assassinate” the character of a senior executive, Tim Main, a former colleague of his from JP Morgan, rather than blow the whistle. 

Dec 2018: US regulators fine Barclays US$15mln over the whistleblower issue, saying said the bank had “shortcomings in governance, controls and corporate culture relating to Barclays’ whistleblowing function” and stressing how vital whistleblowers are vital to uncovering and addressing intentional wrongdoing.

Aug 2019: Jeffrey Epstein kills himself in prison as various lawsuits are filed by those alleging he had assaulted them.

Late 2019: With reports highlighting Staley’s historical professional relationship with Epstein, as part of Barclays assessments of its directors it asks him for more assurances, it has now revealed. Staley is said to have given an explanation of his relationship with Epstein to certain Barclays executives and the chairman, and “confirmed to the board that he has had no contact whatsoever with Mr Epstein at any time since taking up his role as Barclays Group CEO in December 2015”.

Feb 2020: Barclays reveals that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) both launched an investigation last year, which is said to be ongoing, into Staley's “characterisation of his relationship with Epstein to Barclays and the subsequent description of that relationship in the company's response to the FCA”.

Feb 2020: Staley says the relationship ended in the “middle to fall of 2015”, saying there was no contact after he became chief executive of Barclays in December 2015. “I thought I knew him well, and I didn’t. I’m sure with hindsight of what we all know now, I deeply regret having had any relationship with Jeffrey Epstein,” he said.

Quick facts: Barclays PLC

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