London — Britain's financial watchdog is investigating whether Barclays chief executive Jes Staley disclosed full details of his relationship with the late convicted sex offender, the bank said Thursday.
The two men were acquainted when Staley ran the private bank division of JP Morgan before joining Barclays.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Barclays said that "as has been widely reported, earlier in his career Mr. Staley developed a professional relationship with Mr. Epstein." The bank said Staley had had no contact with Epstein after joining Barclays in December 2015.
Barclays said the Financial Conduct Authority had asked about the relationship, and the company had responded. But it said the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority were now investigating "Mr. Staley's characterisation to the company of his relationship with Mr. Epstein and the subsequent description of that relationship in the company's response to the FCA."
The French news agency AFP quoted a statement from Barclays' board of directors as saying on Thursday that the bank's management still had full confidence in Staley.
"The board believes that Mr Staley has been sufficiently transparent with the company as regards the nature and extent of his relationship with Mr Epstein. Accordingly, Mr Staley retains the full confidence of the board," AFP quoted the bank as saying.
Epstein died in a New York jail in August while he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. U.S. authorities ruled the death a suicide.