London: Barclays boss Jes Staley has quit in a shock exit after a probe into his links with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, BBC reported.
The City watchdog and Bank of England have been investigating if Staley’s relationship to the dead financier was closer than first thought.
Barclays said it had been made aware of the conclusions of the probe and “Mr Staley’s intention to contest them”.
Regulators began investigating after getting a cache of emails between the men from Staley’s former employer.
Before joining Barclays the married father-of-two was an executive at US bank JP Morgan, where Epstein, who took his own life in 2019 while in prison, was already a client, the report said.
Over many years, Epstein, who was convicted of trafficking a minor for prostitution in 2008 and served 13 months in custody, cultivated contact with the rich and powerful, including former US presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.
Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has spoken of his “huge mistake” in spending time with Epstein, while the equally super-rich Leon Black stood down from US private equity firm Apollo Global Management over his links.
Although Staley, 63, has characterised his relationship with Epstein as professional, with contact starting to “taper off” from about 2013, regulators looked into whether the emails pointed to a friendlier connection, the report added.
Staley had already admitted he maintained contact with Epstein for about seven years after his 2008 conviction. And it is also known Staley visited Little St James, a retreat owned by Epstein in the US Virgin Islands in 2015, months before taking the top job at Barclays, the report added.