Barclays Wealth COO shredded ‘revenue at all costs’ dossier-reports

Barclays is at the centre of further scandal after a senior executive quit following revelations he shredded a report which said part of the bank was “out of control”.

Andrew Tinney, the former chief operating officer of Barclays’ wealth arm,  quit last week and is alleged to have disposed of the dossier after it was delivered to his home in March 2012, the Mail on Sunday reports.

It was compiled by Genesis Ventures on Tinney’s request following concerns from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) there were “deficiencies” in the New York division Barclays Wealth America (BWA).

The report, seen by the Mail on Sunday, said: “The current leadership team have pursued a course of “revenue at all costs”, taken a conscious decision to ignore support functions, reinforced a culture that is high risk and actively hostile to compliance, and ruled with an iron fist to remove any intervention from those who speak up in opposition.

“Management consciously failed to invest in necessary technology, people and safeguards that it knew it needed, leaving those areas understaffed, under-skilled and under-supported and in disarray.”

The report also said compliance issues were actively ignored at Barclays Wealth, which manages £184bn of client assets, unless an issue was raised by regulators and senior management ruled with “a culture of dominance and fear” should anyone express concerns about the compliance issues.

“This culture immediately removes anyone who opposes Mitch Cox [managing director of the New York division] and his team or who expresses dissent in any way.”

The hidden report was said to be brought to the attention of former chairman Marcus Agius in two separate emails sent by anonymous whistleblowers in September and October last year and Barclays told the FSA before launching an internal investigation.

However, Tom Kalaris, chief executive of Barclays Wealth based in the group’s Canary Wharf building, is also reported to have been briefed by Genesis Vultures on the contents of the report five months before.

He is criticised in the Mail article for making “grown men with families cower and stare at their feet” in another example of the “dominance and fear” culture detailed in the report and expressed fury and determination to discover the identity of the whistleblowers.

In December, Tinney admitted he shredded the report after new chairman Sir David Walker called in Simmons & Simmons to investigate the secret dossier, according to the Mail on Sunday. Tinney was put on unpaid leave before his resignation was announced to employees on 14 January.

The bank told the Mail on Sunday that Barclays Wealth customers had not suffered because of the cultural problems, and said: ‘We acknowledge that there is a need to change culture across Barclays in all areas of our business, and we have set out a plan to do so.”

Barclays has already been fined £290m over the LIBOR-fixing scandal which emerged in the summer of last year. If its Wealth arm is found to have been ignoring banking rules, it could face a further fine from UK and US regulators.

 

This article was first published on Investment Week

 

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