Phillips & Cohen partner Erika Kelton was quoted in a Financial Times article about the recent decision by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority not to ban Barclays’ chief executive Jes Staley, allowing him to remain in his position. Staley attempted twice to uncover the identity of an anonymous whistleblower.
A ban would have meant the end of Mr. Staley’s City career, and Barclays would have been left looking for its fourth chief executive in five years. But the decision to spare him — on the basis that the regulators had no evidence of a lack of integrity — has left some questioning how committed the UK is to leaving light-touch regulation in the past.
“This decision is disturbing and conflicts with UK regulators’ stated desire to better protect whistleblowers,” said Erika Kelton, a lawyer at Phillips & Cohen who specialises in whistleblower cases. “Simply put, it’s a victory for executives who brook no challenges to corporate behaviour and a loss for employees who do nothing more than express concern over company conduct.”