Barclays CEO Jes Staley is out after an investigation into his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The bank said Monday it was recently made aware of the preliminary conclusions of a regulatory investigation into the way Staley characterized his relationship with Epstein. "In view of those conclusions," Barclays said Staley will step down as group chief executive.
"It should be noted that the investigation makes no findings that Mr. Staley saw, or was aware of, any of Mr. Epstein's alleged crimes, which was the central question underpinning Barclays' support for Mr. Staley following the arrest of Mr. Epstein in the summer of 2019," Barclays said.
Epstein died by suicide in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. British regulators' investigation into Staley was revealed in February 2020, with Barclays saying at the time he "developed a professional relationship with Mr. Epstein" earlier in his career but told the board he didn't have contact with him since becoming CEO in 2015. Staley said last year his relationship Epstein began in 2000 but "tapered off quite significantly" after his time at JP Morgan.
"Obviously I thought I knew him well and I didn't," Staley said, per BBC News. "For sure, with hindsight with what we know now, I deeply regret having any relationship with Jeffrey."
According to The Wall Street Journal, investigators examined visits by Staley to Epstein's private island as part of the probe.
While further information about the conclusions of the investigation wasn't provided, investment and markets analyst Susannah Streeter told CNN that "it appears regulators believe there was a distinct lack of transparency over this relationship," adding the board is looking "to distance Barclays from what could be a long drawn out process." Barclays said Staley is planning to contest the findings of the investigation.