LONDON (AP) — The chief executive of British bank BarclaysFollowing a United Kingdom regulator’s report into his connections with the former financier and sex offenders, he resigned Monday Jeffrey Epstein

Jes Staley has previously said he “deeply regrets” his relationship with Epstein, who killed himself at a federal jail in New York in August 2019 while awaiting a sex trafficking trial. There is no suggestion that the 64-year-old Staley knew anything about Epstein’s alleged crimes.

Staley said he will contest regulators’ preliminary conclusions, which were shared with him and the bank Friday. The report by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority examined the way Staley characterized his relationship with Epstein to Barclays when he was Epstein’s private banker in his previous job at U.S. investment bank J.P. Morgan.

Both regulators and the government have declined to provide details about this report.

Barclays said in a statement Monday that the bank and Staley agreed he would resign in light of regulators’ preliminary findings and Staley’s decision to fight them.

The bank noted that the investigation “makes no findings” that Staley saw or knew about any of Epstein’s alleged crimes, which it said was “the central question” behind its decision to back its chief executive after Epstein was arrested in 2019. It wouldn’t comment further.

Staley said his last contact with Epstein was in fall 2015, when he and his wife sailed to Epstein’s private island for lunch. This was shortly after he joined Barclays. Epstein was not in contact with him after he joined Barclays in December 2015.

C.S. Venkatakrishnan will be taking over the role of chief executive. He is currently head for global markets at Barclays. Barclays has stated succession planning is in place for some years and that Venkatakrishnan was identified as the preferred choice more than one year ago.

Barclays shares fell by 2% after the announcement. Staley was widely known for doing an excellent job at Barclays.

Barclays credited him for running the company with “commitment and skill,” helping transform operations and improve its results. It added that the regulatory process still has to run its course and that “it is not appropriate” for the bank to comment further on the preliminary conclusions.

Analysts stated that Barclays needed to take action to avoid potential reputational damage.

“Barclays is right to pull the plug now,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com. “It probably could have done it earlier.”

According to the bank, Staley will receive a payout of 2.5 million pounds ($3.5 million), and other benefits for one year. Staley may also be eligible for repatriation expenses to the U.S., and possibly more cash.

Source: HuffPost.com.

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