At issue are chief executive Jes Staley’s attempts to learn the identity of a whistleblower. The bank has revealed that in June 2016 board members received an anonymous letter and a senior executive also received a second anonymous letter “raising concerns about a senior employee who had been recruited by Barclays earlier that year”.
Barclays said: “Amongst other issues, the letters raised concerns of a personal nature about the senior employee, Mr Staley’s knowledge of and role in dealing with those issues at a previous employer, and the appropriateness of the recruitment process followed on this occasion by Barclays.”
The letters were investigated by Barclays’ compliance department as whistleblows. Under the rules laid down by City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), if a whistleblower asks for anonymity a firm must respect their request.
However, Mr Staley asked the bank’s group information security (GIS) team to try and unmask the authors of the letters. The lender said that this was because he “considered that the letters was an unfair personal attack on a senior employee”. Having been told that this was inappropriate, the GIS team and Mr Staley stopped.