United Kingdom investigators are reviewing Barclays CEO Jes Staley’s trips to now-deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein to learn more about the pair’s relationship and determine if the embattled business exec is hiding anything, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
Officials are looking to see how information Staley provided Barclays, which the bank then provided to regulators, compares to documents, including emails, that investigators received from JP Morgan, where Staley worked at the time of his association with Epstein, the outlet reported, citing sources familiar with the investigation.
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“Mr. Staley visited Little St. James twice, accompanied by his wife on both visits,” a Barclays spokesman told The Journal. “The visits to Little St. James, and his meetings at the Manhattan address where Epstein maintained an office, were disclosed to the board.”
Staley and his family have traveled to the Caribbean on their large sailboat, and he has previously taken the vessel to Epstein’s island, according to the report.
Barclays revealed in mid-February that the Financial Conduct Authority had asked about the relationship, and the company had responded.
But it said the FCA and U.K. banking regulator the Prudential Regulation Authority were now investigating “Mr. Staley’s characterization to the company of his relationship with Mr. Epstein and the subsequent description of that relationship in the company's response to the FCA."
“Earlier in his career Mr. Staley developed a professional relationship with Mr. Epstein,” the bank said, according to a previous report by The Journal. “In the summer of 2019, in light of the renewed media interest in the relationship, Mr. Staley volunteered and gave to certain executives, and the chairman, an explanation of his relationship with Mr. Epstein. Mr. Staley also confirmed to the board that he has had no contact whatsoever with Mr. Epstein at any time since taking up his role as Barclays Group CEO in December 2015.”
Staley later released a statement of his own, in which he said he first met Epstein in 2000 when he became head of JP Morgan’s private bank. He said Epstein was an existing client of the bank.
"The relationship was maintained during my time at JP Morgan but as I left JP Morgan the relationship tapered off quite significantly,” Staley said.
He said his last contact with Epstein was in the summer and autumn of 2015, seven years after Epstein was convicted in Florida of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor and a prostitution charge. He served 13 months in a work-release program for those offenses.
"Obviously I thought I knew him well and I didn't,” Staley said. “For sure, with hindsight with what we know now, I deeply regret having any relationship with Jeffrey."
Epstein was arrested in July 2019 in connection with child sex trafficking and conspiracy. He was pronounced dead on Aug. 10, 2019, shortly after he was found hanging from strips of orange bed sheets inside his jail cell in Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
The New York City Medical Examiner's Office later announced he had committed suicide by hanging, but his death is now the subject of a Department of Justice investigation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.