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Barclays boss quits after Epstein probe

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Barclays boss quits after Epstein probe

Susannah Streeter

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown

‘’The repercussions from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal stretch far and wide, and now Barclays finds itself at the centre of the storm.

For the Chief Executive, Jes Staley to step down following an investigation by city regulators into his into his dealings with Epstein, it’s clear the conclusions of the probe are critical. While the probe did not centre on Mr Staley’s role at Barclays but what he disclosed about his previous position at JP Morgan, what was under question was how he characterised his former relationship with the disgraced financier.

Although detail is limited, it appears regulators believe there was a distinct lack of transparency over this relationship. It’s understood Mr Staley will contest the conclusions, and clearly the board want to distance Barclays from what could be a long drawn out process.

While other organisations focus on the environmental aspect of ESG this week under the shadow of COP 26, this development is a reminder of how the G, as in governance, is increasingly important for companies and investors not to lose sight of.

Sudden change at the top is always unsettling, and the departure of Mr Staley who propelled its successful investment banking expansion strategy may be particularly unnerving for investors, with shares falling 3% in early trading. However, continuity will be provided to some extent by C.S. Venkatakrishnan, head of global markets, who will take over as chief executive.”

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