Barclays urged to fire Jes Staley over his links to Jeffery Epstein  

Barclays urged to fire boss Jes Staley over his links to convicted paedophile Jeffery Epstein

The biggest shareholder in Barclays has urged the bank to fire boss Jes Staley over his links to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

US activist Ed Bramson, who owns 5.8 per cent of Barclays through his hedge fund Sherborne Investors, warned that re-electing Staley as chief executive at its annual meeting in May would be ‘extremely ill-advised’.

He called on chairman Nigel Higgins ‘to draw a line under this destabilising situation, which has become a circus, as soon as possible’, adding that any attempt to allow the US banker to slip gracefully into retirement ‘would be a mistake and would set a terrible precedent for Barclays and for United Kingdom public companies in general’.

Ed Bramson, who owns 5.8 per cent of Barclays through his hedge fund warned re-electing Jes Staley (pictured)  as Barclays’ chief exec would be ‘extremely ill-advised’

Barclays last month revealed that Staley, 63, was being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority over whether he had been open with his employer about his link to Epstein.

The Barclays boss went to visit Epstein in Florida in 2008 while he was serving his 13-month sentence for child sex offences, and later joined him at his Caribbean retreat.

Staley first met Epstein in 2000 when he became head of JP Morgan’s private bank, where Epstein was a client.

The US bank continued to work with Epstein until 2013 – even after he pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from an underage girl in 2008. Staley has said he deeply regrets the relationship.

Epstein committed suicide in jail last year as he awaited further charges. But Bramson has now raised questions over what Staley knew about the paedophile’s illegal activities.

Bramson pointed out that ‘prostitution and sex trafficking, by their very nature, involve the transfer of money’.

He added: ‘Given Epstein’s history of involvement in child prostitution, it would be reasonable to expect that JP Morgan would have placed his accounts under close scrutiny. We do not know if any reports were made, but, if they were not, it raises obvious questions and, if they were, why were the accounts not closed?’

Bramson questioned whether Staley maintained Epstein as a client because of the profits he brought, and the benefits which this lent Staley in terms of pay and promotion.

The whole affair throws Staley’s professional conduct into significant doubt, he added.

Bramson said: ‘The real issue is Staley’s professional conduct, not the dubious company he may have elected to keep.’

Barclays should also launch a review into advice it received over Staley’s appointment, Bramson said, from JP Morgan and recruitment company Spencer Stuart.

The lender declined to comment, but has maintained it fully supports Staley.

Bramson’s criticism is the latest salvo in a battle between the activist and the Barclays board. Shares in Barclays slid 3.7 per cent, or 5.44p, to 143.3p.


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