London Markets: Barclays sees modest pressure after CEO quits over Epstein ties


Barclays shares saw modest pressure Monday after the U.K. bank announced its chief executive, Jes Staley, was departing after seeing a preliminary report by the U.K. regulator into his description of his ties with convicted sex felon Jeffrey Epstein.


shares lost 2%.

Though the Financial Conduct Authority has yet to release or even characterize its report, Staley is planning to contest the conclusions, Barclays said. The U.K. bank said the report “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.”

Staley’s ties to Epstein date from his days at JPMorgan Chase
which reportedly shared emails with U.K. authorities. Staley has publicly owned up to his relationship, which he said he regretted and ended in 2015.

Barclays will turn to the global head of markets, C.S. Venkatakrishnan, to take over. “The board has had succession planning in hand for some time, including reviewing potential external appointees, and identified Venkat as its preferred candidate for this role over a year ago,” the bank said.

“This smooth transition seems to be limiting the damage to Barclays’ share price as does Mr Venkatakrishnan’s CV. Like Mr Staley, he has an investment banking background from his time at both JPMorgan Chase and Barclays, so this suggests there will be no major shift in strategy at the bank now,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

BT Group

climbed 4% after confirming a report it’s hit its cost savings target of £1 billion per year 18 months ahead of schedule. The Telegraph had reported it was debating whether to release the information now, or wait until a possible takeover bid from its largest shareholder, Patrick Drahi.

The FTSE 100

edged up 0.3% in midday trade.

Darktrace shares slumped 13% ahead of the expiration of the lockup of stock. Darktrace

slumped last week after Peel Hunt hit the cybersecurity company with a sell rating.

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