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How Barclays boss Jes Staley’s Halloween horror unfolded


On a wet and windy Halloween weekend, Jes Staley’s six-year career at the top of Barclays came to an abrupt end.

 From the moment the Financial Conduct Authority told the bank about its preliminary findings late on Friday, the writing was on the wall for the 64-yearold American. 

What followed was a frantic weekend of calls, meetings and emails between board members as they raced to finalise his £2.5million severance package and anoint his successor. 

Jes Staley (pictured with wife Debora) was forced to resign as Barclays boss after the Financial Conduct Authority alerted the bank to its findings over his relationship to Jeffery Epstein

Sources said all board members were involved on Saturday and Sunday with most of the discussions taking place via conference call. 

Chairman Nigel Higgins led the response of the 12- strong board – which includes economist Mohamed ElErian and Mary Francis, a former private secretary to John Major.

It is understood that Higgins wanted the matter cleared up by Sunday night, thereby avoiding leaks and causing any further reputational damage. A source said: ‘There were meetings throughout the weekend. 

The board wanted it done by Sunday so that an announcement could go out on Monday.’ With the FCA investigation into Staley casting a shadow over the bank, succession plans were in place. 

Potential replacements had been sounded out and in C S Venkatakrishnan, directors knew they had a man who could hit the ground running.

The American was told of his promotion by the chairman over the weekend. 

But the pace of departure caught many by surprise.

So much so that the bank was still unclear last night over whether the new boss would be based in London or his home of New York.

And the FCA’s findings clearly came as a surprise to Staley, who less than two weeks ago was insisting he would be around for another two years. 

It now falls to Higgins and Venkat to repair the reputational damage and build bridges with investors and the regulator. 

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