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January 22, 2013updated 04 Apr 2017 3:29pm

Barclays senior exec may face “years” of investigation

The former chief operating officer at Barclays Wealth who suppressed a report accusing the bank’s wealth management division of a culture of fear, intimidation, bullying and mismanagement could face “years” of investigations.

By Elsa Buchanan

The former chief operating officer at Barclays Wealth who suppressed a report accusing the bank’s wealth management division of a culture of fear, intimidation, bullying and mismanagement could face "years" of investigations.

Andrew Tinney left the UK bank after he admitted he was responsible for the disappearance of the report.

Tinney could face further investigations if he is found guilty of breaching the Conduct of Business and banking rules, according to Jamie Dance, an adviser at the revenue department of the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Dance explained that the FSA works on a case-to-case basis and further investigations could take "weeks, months or years" depending on the severity of the allegations, or could result in a spot fine.

Barclays could face fines running into millions if it is shown to have ignored banking rules, but neither the bank, nor the FSA would comment on this.

 

Two case scenario

Dance said if an individual, such as Tinney, leaves his company after the allegations but was still working for the company at the time of the alleged misconduct, the authorities would confront the individual rather than the firm itself – in this case Barclays Wealth.

Dance explained the FSA would then follow two steps:-The FSA would "probably expect" the firm to be aware of the circumstances; and "act accordingly".– If the bank was not aware, the FSA would then further investigate the bank.

 

Bob Diamonds’ legacy?

Tinney has now left Barclays Wealth, which holds $291.8bn assets under management, and was understood not to have received any payoff from the bank.

Commenting on the suppression of the report, a Barclays spokesman said:"Independent reports […] are intended to identify areas where change is required and to recommend remedial steps. These types of exercise never result in comfortable reading, but we have been, and will, remain absolutely committed to taking the necessary steps to address the issues raised."

The alleged suppression of the document, that was independently produced by consultancy firm Genesis Ventures and showed cultural "failings" at the New-York unit, again raises issues about the culture fostered at Barclays under former CEO Bob Diamond.

In a letter addressed to his colleagues, Barclays group chief executive Antony Jenkins acknowledged that a transformation of the bank’s culture was imperative if Barclays was to achieve its objective of becoming the "go-to" bank.

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