Epstein, who died by suicide in a federal jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges, had connections with several prominent financial and political figures that have faced scrutiny.
According to the FCA, Staley “recklessly approved” a letter sent by Barclays to the regulator, which contained two misleading statements regarding his association with Epstein. The letter, sent in 2019, claimed that Staley did not have a close relationship with Epstein. However, internal emails revealed that he referred to Epstein as one of his closest and most cherished friends. The letter also stated that Staley had cut off contact with Epstein before joining Barclays, but evidence showed that they were in contact just days before Staley’s appointment as CEO in 2015.
The FCA emphasized that even though Staley did not draft the letter himself, he had a responsibility to correct the misleading statements since he was the only person at Barclays fully aware of the extent of his personal relationship with Epstein and the timeline of their contact. The regulator also concluded that Staley was aware of the risk his association with Epstein posed to his career.
Before joining Barclays, Staley held a senior executive position at JPMorgan. Recently, JPMorgan agreed to pay $75 million to settle Epstein-related litigation by the U.S. Virgin Islands. The bank also reached a separate settlement with Staley.
Despite the fine and ban imposed by the FCA, Staley’s actions have raised concerns about transparency and accountability within the financial industry. The case serves as a reminder of the importance of accurate and honest disclosures, especially when dealing with individuals involved in criminal activities.