Barclays (BARC.L) said on Monday that CEO Jes Staley will step down following British authorities’ probes into his contacts with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
It stated that C.S. Venkatakrishnan (known as Venkat), the company’s head of worldwide markets, will take over as CEO with immediate effect, subject to regulatory approval.
The preliminary findings of a review by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority were shared with Barclays and Staley on Friday evening, according to Barclays.
According to the statement, the probe was on Staley’s characterization of his relationship with the late Jeffrey Epstein to Barclays and the subsequent characterization of that relationship in Barclays’ answer to the FCA.
In consideration of those decisions, as well as Staley’s intention to challenge them, the board and Staley have concluded that he will stand down as Group Chief Executive of Barclays.
“It’s worth noting that the investigation finds no evidence that Staley observed or was aware of any of Epstein’s alleged misdeeds, which was the primary concern underlying Barclays’ support for Staley following Epstein’s arrest in the summer of 2019.”
Last year, Barclays said that banking officials in the United Kingdom were looking into possible ties between Staley and Epstein, who committed suicide while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Epstein’s relationship with Staley terminated in late 2015, and Staley has already stated that he regrets having had any relationship with him.
In a statement, the FCA and PRA stated they couldn’t comment further on the Epstein inquiry.
In a statement, the bank also stated that the board is dissatisfied with the result. Since December 2015, Staley has successfully managed the Barclays Group, showing great dedication as well as expertise.
According to the Financial Times, UK regulators began looking into Staley and Epstein’s ties when JPMorgan (JPM.N) furnished them with emails the two exchanged while Staley was the head of JPMorgan’s private bank.
Since Staley took over as CEO, the bank’s stock has dropped 9%.
In 2018, activist investor Edward Bramson initiated a campaign to have Staley removed from his position at Barclays. Bramson sold his share of the company earlier this year.
Staley was fined 1.1 million pounds ($1.50 million) by Britain’s banking regulators and Barclays in 2018 after he attempted to identify a whistleblower who sent letters criticizing a Barclays employee.
C.S. Venkatakrishnan as CEO
Considering Venkat’s appointment, Barclays stated that its board has had succession planning in place for some time, which include reviewing potential external nominees, and recognized Venkat as its favored candidate for this role over a year earlier, as a consequence of which he shifted from the role of Group Chief Risk Officer to Head of Global Markets.
Barclays stated that it is confident that under his supervision, the bank would maintain its strategic orientation and increase performance in line with recent years’ progress.
Venkat joined Barclays in 2016 after working at JP Morgan Chase since 1994 when he held key positions in asset management and investment banking.