Barclays Bank Plc (Barclays) has today been fined £37,345,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for failing to protect clients custody assets worth £16.5bn, it is the highest fine ever imposed by the FCA for client assets breaches.
Barclays had failed to properly account which company within is Investment Banking Division was responsible for the client accounts, as a result clients risked incurring extra costs, lengthy delays or losing their assets if Barclays had become insolvent.
This breached the FCA’s Client Asset Rules and requirements that firms should have adequate management, systems and controls and properly safeguard clients’ assets.
David Lawton, FCA director of markets, said: “Safeguarding client assets is key to maintaining market confidence if firms fail – Barclays lack of focus on the rules was unacceptable.”
Tracey McDermott, FCA director of enforcement and financial crime, stressed: “Barclays failed to apply the lessons from our previous enforcement actions, numerous industry-wide warnings, and exposed its clients to unnecessary risk. All firms should be clear after Lehman that there is no excuse for failing to safeguard client assets.”