LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays (BARC.L) has appointed Hector Sants, former boss of British regulator the Financial Services Authority, to oversee its compliance and relationship with governments and regulators as it looks to repair its battered reputation.
Barclays said Sants will oversee compliance activities across the bank in all the regions in which it does business. The appointment marks a change to the bank’s structure with all compliance staff reporting to one individual for the first time.
Sants in turn will report directly to Chief Executive Antony Jenkins, who is overhauling the bank after it was fined 290 million pounds ($467 million) by regulators investigating the manipulation of Libor and other key interest rates. The affair led to the departure of the previous CEO, Bob Diamond.
Jenkins said the appointment of Sants underlined his commitment to creating a culture at Barclays where compliance is “universally welcomed and observed”.
Barclays said Sants will be responsible for ensuring the conduct of staff is consistent with the bank’s values, “as well as the spirit and letter of the law and the expectations of regulators in the geographies where Barclays operates”.
“With a huge wealth of private and public sector experience and having most recently led one of the world’s pre-eminent regulatory authorities, I can think of no more suitably qualified person than Hector Sants to take on these challenges,” Jenkins said in a statement on Wednesday.
Last month the bank’s current head of compliance, Mike Walters, told British lawmakers examining bank standards that he didn’t believe it was the responsibility of Barclay’s compliance function to make the bank compliant. “Complying is part of the culture but compliance is the responsibility of everyone at Barclays,” he said.
Walters will take up the new role of managing director for conduct and risk following Sants’ appointment on January 21.
Sants stepped down as chief executive of the FSA in June and had also held talks with accountancy firm Deloitte, as a welter of new financial industry rules has put expertise in regulation at a premium.
The FSA is being scrapped in April as part of a shake-up of supervision that will make the Bank of England the main banking supervisor. That has triggered a string of departures from the FSA for the deep pockets of the private sector.
Margaret Cole, former head of enforcement, left earlier this year to join PricewaterhouseCoopers. Jon Pain left last year to work for KPMG, while Thomas Huertas, a former FSA banking supervisor, is now part of Ernst & Young’s regulatory team.
Barclays did not provide details of Sants’ pay. He was paid 836,000 pounds by the FSA for the 2011/12 financial year. ($1=0.6210 British pounds)
Editing by Steve Slater and Greg Mahlich