Ex-Barclays boss Jes Staley fined $2.2M after emails show Jeffrey Epstein relationship


The controversial ex-CEO of Barclays will pay a major fine after texts and emails showed the extent of his relationship with the financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Jes Staley, who ran the major U.K. bank between 2015 and 2021, was hit with a £1.8 million ($2.2 million) fine by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and banned from holding senior positions in the financial services industry.

The FCA released a 79-page dossier outlining its extensive three-year investigation into the U.S. banker’s ties with Epstein. 

Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges including soliciting sex from girls as young as 14, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

He was arrested in July 2019 on federal charges tied to sex trafficking but died in custody a month later before the case went to trial. Investigators concluded he died by suicide.

Before his arrest, Epstein kept high profile company, including Prince Andrew and, as the FCA has concluded, former Barclay’s boss Staley.

‘Recklessly approved’ letter

The FCA said Staley “recklessly approved” a 2019 letter sent by Barclays to the financial watchdog, which contained two misleading statements.

Staley had said during the investigations that he never had a close relationship with Epstein and that his last contact with him was “well before he joined Barclays” in October 2015.

However, the FCA discovered a communication line that included 1,100 email exchanges between 2008 and 2012, during which Staley described Epstein as one of his “most cherished” friends.

Staley also attended Epstein’s island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a hub for Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking operation, in April 2015, his third visit to the island during his friendship with Epstein.

In July 2015, Epstein emailed Staley, saying: “better if you not email me. phone only.” Staley proceeded to send blank emails to Epstein on two occasions with the subject headings “Call my cell” and “Call me.”

He resigned in November 2021 after the Barclays board determined his position was “untenable” following a review of the FCA’s preliminary findings from its investigation.

The fine is close to Staley’s salary of £2.4 million ($2.9 million) while he headed the bank. Barclays froze payouts to Staley in February last year while the FCA investigated his ties to Epstein, but said it would continue to pay his salary.

On Thursday, Barclays said that Staley should forego bonuses and long-term share incentives worth £17.8 million ($21.7 million) in the wake of the FCA’s ruling, the BBC reported.

Staley intends to appeal the decision.

Representatives for the former Barclays boss didn’t immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment.

However, in a statement provided to The Guardian by his lawyers, Staley said: “If I had known who JE [Jeffrey Epstein] really was, there is absolutely no doubt that I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today. Prior to undertaking my former role, it was known that I had had a relationship with JE.

“I have worked tirelessly over the last 43 years and have genuinely supported many people/social causes, where others might not have done so. I am very disappointed by the FCA’s decision and I will continue to challenge it. I will not comment any further until these proceedings are concluded.”

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