FCA argues its case to ban ex-Barclays Wealth boss

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The FCA has set out its case to ban a former Barclays executive for withholding a report that claimed its wealth management division was “actively hostile to compliance”.

The FCA today published its decision notice recommending ex-Barclays Wealth and Investment Management chief operating officer Andrew Tinney be banned and publicly censured for covering up the existence of a report that was critical about the management and culture at the wealth division’s US branch, Barclays Wealth Americas.

Tinney has disputed the FCA’s decision and referred it to the Upper Tribunal.

The decision notice says as part of a remediation programme overseen by Tinney, he received a hard copy of a report put together by an external consultancy examining the culture at the business.

The report included statements and quotes from staff that were critical of the management and claimed the US branch pursued a course of “ revenue at all costs” and had a culture that was “high risk and actively hostile to compliance”.

It recommended Barclays should replace some of the Wealth Americas’ senior management.

The FCA says Tinney was the only person who saw the report. After discussing it with the wealth chief executive, he took steps to make sure the people mentioned in the report did not see it, and did not enter it into the company’s records or IT systems. He also told the consultancy it did not need to circulate it.

The FCA says Tinney then denied the report’s existence several times making it less likely he, or the consultancy, would be asked for a copy.

Tinney denied the report existed after an anonymous email was sent to the Barclays chairman alleging a report about culture was suppressed.

The regulator says he also did not mention the report when Barclays got a request from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for a copy of the “cultural audit”.

The final notice says when discussing what documents should be given to the Fed, Tinney described the report as “interview notes”, “rough notes”, “interview material”, or similar, which did not fairly and accurately reflect its contents.

Barclays later received a copy of the report from the consultancy in December 2012 and suspended Tinney’s employment. He then resigned.

The FCA says Tinney’s misconduct is serious because it occurred during the “Salz Review”, an independent review of business practices in the wake of the Libor scandal.

It says: “In that context, Mr Tinney should have understood the connection between the firm’s culture and regulatory compliance, and senior management’s ability and willingness to positively influence appropriate behaviour throughout the organisation.”

The notice adds: “Indeed, the fact that he devised the culture audit workstream because he wanted to assess whether the culture in Barclays Wealth Americas contributed to regulatory deficiencies demonstrates that Mr Tinney did understand that connection.

“Mr Tinney should therefore have understood that his conduct was not consistent with setting an appropriate tone from the top.”

A Barclays Wealth and Investment Management spokeswoman says: “Barclays is not the subject of the FCA investigation on these findings. 

“Barclays fully co-operated with the FCA investigation of Mr Tinney.”