Jes Staley reportedly exchanged 1200 emails with Jeffrey Epstein in four years – The Guardian


Some emails between ex-Barclays boss and Epstein used unexplained phrases such as ‘snow white’, FT reports

The former Barclays chief executive Jes Staley reportedly exchanged 1,200 emails with disgraced financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein over four years, some of which featured unexplained terms such as “snow white”.

The report detailing the cache of emails comes less than two weeks after Staley resigned from Barclays after being shown the preliminary conclusions of a regulatory investigation over his links to Epstein.

The City watchdog had been investigating how the banking boss described his links with Epstein to the bank, as well as the information that was subsequently relayed by Barclays to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The results of that investigation have not yet been made public, and Staley intends to contest the findings.

The inquiry was launched after emails between Staley and Epstein, dating back to Staley’s time at the Wall Street bank JP Morgan, were handed to UK regulators by their counterparts in the US.

Those emails reportedly showed a close relationship between the two men, according to the Financial Times, citing sources familiar with the emails. And while many of the emails sent between 2008 and 2012 were in relation to arranging drinks or discussing news articles, the regulator noted that certain terms were unexplained.

For example, a two-message exchange that referred to an in-person conversation used the term “snow white”. City regulators at the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and FCA have not yet come to a conclusion regarding the meaning of the phrase, the report explained.

Kathleen Harris, a lawyer at Arnold & Porter who is representing Staley, said in a legal letter to the Financial Times: “We wish to make it expressly clear that our client had no involvement in any of the alleged crimes committed by Mr Epstein, and codewords were never used by Mr Staley in any communications with Mr Epstein, ever.”

A spokesperson for Staley told the Guardian: “Mr Staley intends to contest the initial findings of the FCA and PRA investigation. He will not be making any further public statements at this point.”

Barclays declined to comment, but said in statement last week that the regulatory investigation did not conclude that Staley “saw, or was aware of, any of Mr Epstein’s alleged crimes, which was the central question underpinning Barclays’ support for Mr Staley following the arrest of Mr Epstein in the summer of 2019”.

The FCA and PRA declined to comment.

Staley developed a relationship with Epstein in 2000, when he was hired to lead JP Morgan’s private bank, which handles wealthy clients. Staley stayed in contact with Epstein for seven years after he was convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor in 2008, and visited Epstein in Florida while he was still serving his sentence and on work release in 2009.

That relationship continued after Staley left JP Morgan, where he had spent 30 years of his career, to join BlueMountain Capital in 2013. But the banker claims their contact started to taper off after he left the Wall Street lender, with the two men meeting for a final time in 2015, when Staley took his own yacht, the Bequia, to visit Epstein’s private Caribbean island.

Staley volunteered to explain his ties to Epstein to Barclays in summer 2019, when media reports cast a fresh spotlight on their relationship. It is still not clear why Staley decided to cut ties with his former banking client.

Epstein died in prison in August 2019 while awaiting trial on charges of sex-trafficking underage girls. A US medical examiner ruled that he had killed himself.

The regulatory investigation by the PRA and FCA was launched in December that year.












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