The chairman of British lender Barclays has told shareholders to brace for reading emails between the bank’s former boss Jes Staley and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Nigel Higgins has reportedly told investors that emails between Staley and Epstein make for an “uncomfortable” read.
The Mail on Sunday first reported the story.
Staley unexpectedly quit his role as chief executive of Barclays earlier this month to fight the findings of a probe into the way he characterised his relationship with Epstein to his employer.
The early findings of the investigation, led by the City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), were shared with Staley and Barclays, prompting the bank’s chief executive to quit.
The probe has scanned around 1,200 emails between Epstein and Staley. Higgins was alerted about the string of emails as early as 2019.
The pair had established a professional relationship while Staley headed the private wealth division of Wall Street giant JPMorgan. Epstein allegedly sent clients to Staley while he held one of the investment bank’s top positions.
A top 20 shareholder told the Mail on Sunday: “We spoke to Higgins after Staley left. He was very open.”
“He said once you read the final report you will have questions for us because it will make for uncomfortable reading.”
Staley’s exchanges with Epstein are reportedly littered with effusive language.
The news is the latest development in the fallout of Staley’s departure.
Earlier this month, shareholders raised concerns over the £2.4m payout Barclays’s former boss will continue to receive until October, as well as his £120,000 pension allowance.
Barclays appointed CS Venkatakrishnan – known as Venkat internally – the bank’s head of global markets as chief executive after Staley stepped down.
A spokesman for Staley told the Mail on Sunday: “Mr Staley intends to contest the initial findings of the FCA and PRA investigation.”
“He will not be making any further public statements at this point.”
The findings of the investigation are set to be published by the FCA and the PRA in the future.