Skip to main content

Barclays plc (BCS) - Get Barclays PLC Sponsored ADR Report  CEO Jes Staley was back in the headlines Friday, only days after surviving a shareholder movement for his ouster, after he was reportedly the victim of an email hoax that subsequently went public.

The Financial Times reported that Staley responded to an email he thought was from his chairman, John McFarlane, heaping praise on his colleague for supporting him at the bank's annual general meeting earlier this week and thanking him for "sharing the foxhole".

"You came to my defense today with a courage not seen in many people. How do I thank you?" Staley wrote in the email, according to the FT. "You have a sense of what is right, and you have a sense of theatre. You mix humor with grit. Thank you John. Never underestimate my recognition of your support. And my respect for your guile."

The FT said the email was sent with the heading "The fool doth think he is wise" and carried an address of The email makes reference to Michael Mason-Mahon, a shareholder who called for Staley's resignation in the wake of the bank's whistleblowing scandal, describing him "as brusque as he is ill informed".

TheStreet Recommends

"Surely the fickleminded nature of the angry few will help tie up any loose ends," the email  added, according to the FT. "You owe me a large Scotch."

Bank email addressed normally have the domain name.

Barclays shares were marked around 0.3% lower in the opening hour of trading in London and changing hands at 206 pence each against a broader 0.21% gain for the FTSE 100 benchmark.

Staley is currently under investigation for by the Prudential Conduct Authority and Financial Conduct Authority for attempting to uncover a whistleblower last year. The American CEO has received full backing from the board, who concluded that Staley had "honestly, but mistakenly" believed he could identify the whistleblower.

Staley apologized to shareholders at Wednesday's AGM , calling the incident "a mistake". However, he survived an attempt by some shareholders to oust him from the board. Barclays said more than 97% of votes cast at the meeting favored Staley's reappointment as company director, with only 2.82% voting against.

Editors' pick: Originally published May 12.