BARCLAYS boss Jes Staley says he ‘deeply regrets’ his relationship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, which continued for seven years after the American financier was convicted of sex offences.
The admission comes as the bank confirmed Mr Staley is being investigated by two financial regulators over details he gave about his working relationship with Epstein while at JP Morgan.
Mr Staley said no contact had been made after he joined Barclays in December 2015.
The bank boss was introduced to Epstein while running JP Morgan’s private division. Reports about the relationship have arisen in the past six months.
Mr Staley said yesterday the last contact he had with Epstein was in 2015 — seven years after the financier’s conviction. Epstein, 66, was found dead in his prison cell last year while awaiting child sex trafficking offences.
Mr Staley said: ‘It has been very well known I had a professional relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
‘It goes back to 2000 when I was asked to run the JP Morgan private bank and he was already a client when I joined the private bank.
‘The relationship was maintained during my time at JP Morgan but as I left JP Morgan the relationship tapered off quite significantly.
‘Obviously, I thought I knew him well and I didn’t. For sure, with hindsight with what we know now, I deeply regret having any relationship with Jeffrey.’
Asked how frequently he spoke with Epstein compared with other important clients, Mr Staley declined to answer.
In a statement to the stock market, Barclays said: ‘The relationship between Mr Staley and Mr Epstein was the subject of an inquiry from the Financial Conduct Authority, to which the company responded. The FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority subsequently commenced an investigation, which is ongoing, into Mr Staley’s relationship with Mr Epstein.’