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Jes Staley lobbied JP Morgan to keep Jeffrey Epstein as a client despite conviction

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Jes Staley Barclays Jeffrey Epstein
Jes Staley Barclays Jeffrey Epstein

Jes Staley encouraged JP Morgan, his former employer, to keep the late Jeffrey Epstein as a client even though he had been convicted of prostitution offences, it has emerged.

The former Barclays chief executive resigned late last year after the bank’s board saw the draft results of an inquiry examining the nature of his relationship with the convicted sex offender, who was a key client when Mr Staley worked at JP Morgan.

Sources told the Financial Times that Mr Staley asked senior officials at JP Morgan whether Epstein's 2008 conviction for soliciting prostitution from underage girls in Florida was grounds to remove him as a client.

One of the sources claimed that in the year before the US bank dropped Epstein as a client in 2013 Mr Staley had argued that the billionaire had served his prison sentence and paid his debt to society.

Spokesmen for Mr Staley and JP Morgan declined to comment.

The Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority began investigating whether the bank chief properly explained his relationship with Epstein in 2019, after receiving emails that suggested the pairing was friendlier than claimed.

Mr Staley is preparing to contest the findings of the inquiry, which have not been made public.

He has always denied any knowledge of the convicted sex offender’s alleged crimes and has said his relationship with Epstein, who died in prison in August 2019, was purely professional and tapered off when he left JP Morgan in 2013.

Barclays said regulators have made no findings that Mr Staley saw, or was aware of, any of Epstein's alleged crimes.

Mr Staley has hired Kathleen Harris, a top lawyer who previously acted for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp during the phone hacking scandal, to represent him as he gears up for a fight to save his reputation.

Ms Harris declined to comment.

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