LONDON, May 10 ― Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley apologised to shareholders today for his attempts to unmask a whistleblower, but faced calls from individual shareholders to resign over his conduct.
“Will you act now with integrity and honour and resign,” shareholder Michael Mason-Mahon, a frequent activist at major British banks’ annual general meetings, asked Staley at Barclays’ own AGM.
But Barclays Chairman John McFarlane said that he was standing by the chief executive.
“You know me, if I thought he should go he would have gone,” McFarlane told shareholders.
Barclays last month said it had reprimanded Staley and would cut his bonus after he twice attempted to identify the author of a letter that revealed “concerns of a personal nature” about an unnamed senior employee.
“I made a mistake in becoming involved in an issue which I should have left to the business to deal with,” Staley said.
Another investor said it ‘beggars belief’ that Staley was not aware of the bank’s policies on not trying to identify whistleblowers.
ISS, a shareholder proxy firm, last month advised shareholders to abstain from voting to reelect Staley to the bank’s board.
Staley also told the AGM that he did not see a need for Barclays to shift jobs or significant operations out of Britain as a result of the country’s vote last June to leave the European Union, regardless of how the exit negotiations pan out. ― Reuters