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Sir Hector Sants defends decision to join Barclays

Sir Hector Sants

Former FSA chief executive Sir Hector Sants has defended his decision to join Barclays just six months after leaving the regulator.

Sants came under fire giving evidence to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards today about whether he is “compromised” by becoming Barclays head of compliance and Government and regulatory relations.

Sants, who was knighted for services to financial services and regulation in the New Year’s Honours List, will join the bank next month. He quit the regulator last June after five years in charge but still recieved his £500,000 salary plus benefits until the end of 2012.

Labour peer Lord John McFall and PCBS chair Andrew Tyrie both questioned whether Sants will be conflicted by his access to FSA information about Barclays’ competitors.

Sants said: “I am definitely not compromised. There is a statutory period where you are not allowed to work for a competitor and I will have passed that period before I start. I don’t have any information.

“The FSA, myself and Barclays are aware of some ongoing cases between the bank and regulator that I was involved in initiating. I have made clear I will not be involved in those cases.

“I have no information that is not in the public domain but we are aware of the perception it may cause. I understand why people raise the question but the safeguards are in place.”

Lord McFall told Sants it is “surprising” he is joining the bank considering the “catalogue” of misbehaviour by Barclays during his time at the FSA.

He said: “Given your interest in the culture and ethics at banks, how have you satisfied yourself that it is ethically appropriate to join Barclays?”

Sants said Barclays is a “great British financial institution” and it is “vital” it is run differently in the future.

He said: “I have spent the last five years thinking deeply about these issues and have tried to learn from the many searing experiences I have had. I think I can bring to Barclays great insights in how to help them.

“I believe the new management team and chief executive Anthony Jenkins are absolutely committed to change and I would not have gone there if I did not think they were. I believe I can help them take forward this change agenda. They have got to change.”


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There are 28 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Roman Duzinkewycz 10th January 2013 at 2:58 pm

    A pig with lipstick is still a pig – disgraceful and has not justified his decision in any way. Even I can say ‘things must change’ – past experience lends nothing to the argument that things will change. Barclays (like every other rotten bank) will still continue to do what they want to do, irrespective of any rules, and will hope not to get caught – perhaps this is the real reason MR Sants has joined them – I hate to say it again but this man will NEVER be a ‘Sir’ to me – he has done nothing to merit the award – disgraceful. Is that the end of the story then??

  2. of course he isn't compromised 10th January 2013 at 2:58 pm

    to be compromised he would have to understand the business, remember the information and know what to do with it. he has shown no sign of any of these three so far

  3. Couldn’t help but smile when I saw ‘Sir Hector Sants’ being used in an article for the first time.

    Well done!

  4. Three million reasons! He LOVES Barclays. Just like the Diamond before him!


  5. Game keeper turns poacher. Nothing to do with any finacial inducements he’s always banged on about then? Bullshit.

  6. Money Marketing – Please do not refer to this man as Sir Hector Sants as this honour is yet to be bestowed on him!

  7. ……and these are acceptable answers? Case closed.
    An insult to the general intelligence of mere mortals.

  8. John is right about the 3 million reasons, and from Barclays 100 millions of reasons compared to other Banks Fines

  9. He has much to defend, including his actions while at the FSA which resulted in total financial meltdown.

  10. The Emperor’s New Clothes brought to 2013

  11. NIce to see MPs agreeing with the overwhelming majority of IFAs. Wonder if Nic Cicutti was watching?

  12. Nic Circutti wont like us commenting on this article…

  13. I quote: “I have spent the last five years thinking deeply about these issues and have tried to learn from the many searing experiences I have had. I think I can bring to Barclays great insights in how to help them”. Quite. I am sure you have, Mr Sants, and this is why Barclays are employing you to show how grateful they are!

  14. ‘I don’t have any information’

    No, because he knew nothing in the first place!!!

    What an absolute load of codswollop – is he really saying he doesn’t have any information and really wants people to believe that? If he was doing a regulators job for that long and learnt nothing then what the hell was he doing and why the hell are Barclays employing someone who admits they know nothing!!???

    And how can the Head of Compliance not be involved in issues of compliance? Oh yeah, that would mean doing a job you are employed for and we know he doesn’t like doing that!!!

  15. Aw come on! Barclays offered, he accepted. Not illegal, nor did he breach any rules. Who would turn down £3 million smackers?

    If any of you or our daft MPS want to moan they should look at the rules and regulations that permit such a thing. Compared to Britain’s most venal individual – Tony Blair – our Hector is just a beginner.

  16. The patronising arrogance goes on ……. all the time Banks think we are idiots, they will treat us as idiots!

    I am old enough to review the whole of the regulatory system since inception and the acid test is, ‘have matters improved? No, the thieves are now institutionalised and are now honoured. Now many millions, or billions, have been wasted on this job generating excercise?

  17. Scott Taylor-Barr 10th January 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I have to agree with Harry in regards to this.

    MP’s seem very good at the moment at telling folks they don’t like something despite it being perfectly legal; a regulator joining a bank, companies using legal tax loopholes, etc.

    If you don’t like the results, change the rules, it would be more effective than trying to get people and firms to do things for some form of moral obligation.

  18. @ anon 3.11

    How does one defend the indefensible?

    I see this as a case of the unspeakable being honoured by the unelected (apologies to Oscar Wilde).

  19. the same people who governed used to pirates as well.

    Sir with a small s or something else that might smell sounds like a boys club the fsa.

  20. If you want some fun – rearrange ‘Sir Hector Sants’ as an anagram…

  21. Let’s keep this to the point instead of just calling the guy names.

    What I want to know is who made the decision to lower Barclay’s one fine in connection with LIBOR?

    Who made the decision to not ask questions about Bob Diamond’s appointment the chief executive when there are already questions being asked about LIBOR?

    These are just two questions and why is Mr Sante being paid nearly £3 million for what seems to be ahead of compliance surely that’s considerably above market rate?

    I’m sure the shareholders of Barclays would like to know the reasons why they are paying an individual a considerable amount over the present market rate and it does beg the question who did make decisions that lowered Barclays fine.

  22. If you look closely at his hair parting I think you can see bumps where their used to be horns. Closer still, with a really good camera I see 666. It’s wrong to compare him with a pig in listick; pigs have redeeming features.

  23. The saddest thing about all of this is that it is plain that dubious behaviour is required to get anywhere in the UK now. The good guys just don’t win anymore.

  24. Re Peter Herd, I agree the Barclays shareholders should be looking at this AND the Police, something does not “add up” or maybe it does!

  25. Money for old rope

  26. RegulatorSaurusRex 14th January 2013 at 3:04 pm

    “I don’t have any information”

    No wonder we are extinct.

  27. UK…what a freaking joke…one of the greediest countries I have ever encountered….oh wait, all the super powers are greedy! Give me a break…FSA to Barclays??? It is called “highest bidder”! Enjoy, SIR!

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