Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA reverses move to ban ex-Barclays Wealth executive

FCA reverses move to ban ex-Barclays Wealth executive

The former chief operating officer of Barclays Wealth will not be banned by the Financial Conduct Authority following an Upper Tribunal ruling on the events surrounding an alleged cover-up of a damning internal report.

But the tribunal did find that Andrew Tinney breached his "obligation as an approved person to act with integrity" during his time at the top of Barclays Wealth in 2012. 

The regulator said that in March 2012 Mr Tinney received a document from a consultancy firm which had carried out the audit of the company's US branch and was critical of some members of Barclays Wealth Americas’ (BWA) senior management. 

The report found BWA had pursued a course of revenue at all costs and had a culture that was high risk and actively hostile to compliance.

Its main recommendation was that Barclays should replace or consider replacing some members of BWA’s senior management.

According to the FCA, the chairman of Barclays Bank, of which the Wealth division is a subsidiary, subsequently received an anonymous email alleging that "a wealth cultural audit report" had been suppressed and Mr Tinney had a part in drafting a response to this allegation. 

In 2015 the FCA censured Mr Tinney and sought to ban him from significant influence positions, but the former chief operating officer disputed the decision and moved to have it overturned through the courts.

In a hearing which took place in January 2018 the Upper Tribunal found that Mr Tinney was "reckless" in giving the impression that the document in question did not exist and, accordingly, that his conduct "failed to meet the required standard of integrity". 

However, the regulator's allegation that Mr Tinney had made "false or misleading statements" about the document to his colleagues in a response to the US Federal Reserve Bank of New York in November 2012 was not upheld by the Upper Tribunal.

The Upper Tribunal found that, following these events, Mr Tinney had made a misleading statement to his professional regulator, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, concerning the nature of his conduct.

But it did not uphold that Mr Tinney had misled the FCA over the matter. 

In a separate hearing in March 2019 the Upper Tribunal ruled the appropriate sanction would be for the FCA to publish a public statement of Mr Tinney's misconduct, otherwise known as a public censure.

The tribunal did not uphold the regulator's submission that a "breach of the obligation to act with integrity by a senior manager" merited a ban in this case. 

In a final notice published on its website today (August 16) the FCA confirmed it has decided not to pursue a ban against Mr Tinney. 

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: "Senior management must be held to high standards of integrity which is the fundamental cornerstone of good conduct in trusted markets. 

"Mr Tinney failed to act with integrity in one telling instance which is enough to justify this censure."