By Carlos Tejada and Amie Tsang
In a statement filed with the London Stock Exchange, the British bank said the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority had begun an investigation into the relationship, which is ongoing.
“As has been widely reported, earlier in his career, Mr. Staley developed a professional relationship with Mr. Epstein,” the statement said. Barclays added that Mr. Staley, who is known as Jes, had told the bank that he had had no contact with Mr. Epstein after taking the top position at the lender in December 2015.
In its filing, Barclays said regulators were examining how Mr. Staley characterized the relationship with Mr. Epstein to the company, as well as what the company subsequently told the Financial Conduct Authority about it.
The bank’s shares were trading about 2.6 percent lower on Thursday.
Mr. Staley had known Mr. Epstein since at least 1999, when the future Barclays chief was running the private banking business of the Wall Street bank JPMorgan. He was one of a handful of prominent Wall Street financiers linked to Mr. Epstein, who portrayed himself as indispensable to corporate executives and built up a small but powerful finance network.
Among others, Mr. Epstein connected Mr. Staley with Glenn Dubin, who ran Highbridge Capital Management, a hedge fund in which JPMorgan bought a majority stake in 2004. The deal elevated the asset management division that Mr. Staley ran at JPMorgan into a major player in the hedge-fund world.
He has reshaped the bank, cutting costs and bolstering the company’s commitment to investment banking. But his tenure has also been marked by a series of questions over his judgment.
Mr. Staley has also fallen for an email from a prankster who posed as the chairman of Barclays, and he upset a big client, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, after trying to help his brother-in-law’s business interests. Those stumbles have spurred some shareholders to demand his resignation along the way.
Those accusations involved actions up to 2005. A lawsuit filed last month by Denise N. George, the attorney general of the Virgin Islands, cited further evidence that Mr. Epstein had sexually abused and trafficked hundreds of young women and girls on his private Caribbean island, some as recently as 2018.