Barclays boss says sorry to AGM for breaking rules

Some shareholders are unhappy about Mr Staleys actions as Barclays CEO
Some shareholders are unhappy about Mr Staleys actions as Barclays CEO

Shareholders have fired a warning shot at Barclays boss Jes Staley, with a substantial number of investors refusing to back his reappointment as chief executive following a fractious general meeting.

More than 16% of votes cast failed to back his re-election, with nearly 14% abstaining and 2.82% voting against.

Shareholders had been urged to abstain from a vote backing his re-appointment after Mr Staley attempted to identify a whistleblower at Barclays.

His action prompted investigations by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority last month.

However, of the decisive votes cast, 97.18% were in favour of his reappointment.

It came after Mr Staley issued an apology directly to shareholders at the AGM.

“I feel it is important that I acknowledge to you - our shareholders - that I made a mistake in becoming involved in an issue which I should have left to the business to deal with.

“I have apologised to the board, and I would today like to apologise to you as well, for that error.”

Despite admitting his mistakes, Mr Staley - who is set to have his pack docked over the governance failings - still faced calls to resign.

One shareholder at the AGM asked in reference to Mr Staley’s conduct: “Today, for the sake of Barclays PLC, investors and shareholders, don’t bring any more embarrassment to the bank - will you save the integrity (of the bank) and resign today?”

Chairman John McFarlane said, in response, that he thought the chief executive made a mistake, but stressed: “if I thought the CEO should go, I would say so.”

He added: “At the time he was a relatively new CEO. He was not here for very long. It’s no excuse, but people need to learn these jobs... we’ve accepted that he won’t do it again, and I think we’ve taken the right action here”.