London: Barclays Plc agreed to pay £38 million to Britain’s market regulator for failing to properly protect £16.5 billion of client assets.
The UK’s second-largest lender put clients of its investment bank at risk of incurring extra costs or losing their assets if Barclays had become insolvent, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a statement on its website. The breaches took place between November 2007 and January 2012.
The FCA said it was the biggest fine UK regulators had ever imposed for client asset breaches. Chief executive officer Antony Jenkins is trying to overhaul Barclays’s culture, vowing a commitment to integrity after a series of scandals at the bank. Repeat accusations of wrongdoing are undermining his plan.
“Barclays failed to apply the lessons from our previous enforcement actions," FCA director of enforcement and financial crime Tracey McDermott said in the statement.
The lender was fined £1.1 million in 2011 by the UK regulator for similar violations. While clients didn’t lose money, they were put at risk of losses, Britain’s market watchdog said at the time.
Barclays said in a separate statement on Tuesday that it accepted the FCA’s finding and didn’t profit from the incidents.
“Barclays fell short of what is expected" by regulators, the bank said in its statement. “Barclays has subsequently enhanced its systems to resolve these issues."
Jenkins, 53, took over as CEO after Robert Diamond left in the wake of the Libor-rigging scandal. The fine adds to the £900 million Chirantan Barua, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd, estimates the lender will have to pay this year to settle probes into the alleged manipulation of currency markets and into its private trading venue, or dark pool. Bloomberg