Barclays Bank was recently fined £72m for failing to conduct proper anti-crime checks on certain clients as it did not want to “inconvenience” them – which has angered shareholders.
According to the FCA, Barclays went to “unacceptable lengths” to accommodate clients described as being politically exposed. It was alleged that the deal was kept so secret that when the FCA asked for details it took bank officials a month to locate them. It was further suggested that the bank claimed it would pay clients £37.7m if details were to be leaked.
“Barclays ignored its own process designed to safeguard against the risk of financial crime and overlooked obvious red flags to win new business and generate significant revenue,” said Mark Steward, director of enforcement at FCA. “This is wholly unacceptable.”
The Times maintained that the fine included the £52.3m profit Barclays made on the deal, as well as a £19m penalty.
It said: “Regulators said senior managers at the bank failed to ‘adequately oversee’ its financial crime risks, failed to ‘respond appropriately’ to details pointing to a ‘higher risk’ of crime, and followed a ‘less robust process’ than it would have done with lower-risk clients.”
Barclays is now under pressure from shareholders who wish to claw back bonuses from bankers responsible for the scandal, The Times reported .
The FCA declined to comment on whether it would pursue any enforcement proceedings against individuals because of the scandal.
On the clawbacks, Barclays said: “The bank considers individual accountability and ensures that remuneration is reduced where appropriate. This includes reductions to bonuses and unvested awards and clawback where warranted. It is not possible or appropriate to comment on individual cases.”
One private shareholder, The Times suggested, claimed the bank had no excuse for not penalising the people responsible for the scandal.
“Even though the offences took place in 2011 and 2012, the deferral of bonuses for up to three years probably meant that senior people responsible were still due some of the bonuses that would have been improved by the deal next year,” it said. “Barclays should stop these being paid out ‘at the very least,’ according to investors.”
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