Jes Staley exchanged 1,200 emails with child trafficker and alleged spy Jeffrey Epstein
The former Barclays chief executive Jes Staley reportedly exchanged 1,200 emails with child trafficker and alleged spy Jeffrey Epstein over four years, including emails that used mysterious terms such as “snow white”.
Earlier this month, Staley resigned from Barclays after being shown the preliminary conclusions of a regulatory investigation regarding his links to Epstein.
The City watchdog had been investigating the way the banking boss described his links with Epstein to the bank, as well as the information that Barclays relayed to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The results of that investigation have not yet been made public, and Staley intends to contest them.
UK regulators launched the inquiry after US counterparts handed over emails between Staley and Epstein from when Staley was working at the Wall Street bank JP Morgan.
According to the Financial Times, which cited sources familiar with the emails, the emails revealed a close relationship between the men. Even though most emails between 2008 and 2012 were about arranging drinks or discussing news articles, the regulator noted that certain terms were not explained.
The term "snow white" was used in a two-message exchange that referred to an in-person conversation. The PRA and FCA have not yet agreed on the meaning of the phrase, the report explained.
According to Katherine Harris, a lawyer at Arnold & Porter who represents Staley, in a legal letter to the Financial Times: “We wish to make it expressly clear that our client had no involvement in any of the alleged crimes committed by Mr Epstein, and codewords were never used by Mr Staley in any communications with Mr Epstein, ever.”
Epstein and Staley became friends in 2000, when Staley was hired by JP Morgan to lead its private bank, which serves wealthy clients. Staley stayed in contact with Epstein for seven years after he was convicted for child rape and trafficking related crimes in 2008. While Epstein was still serving his sentence and on work release in 2009, Staley visited him in Florida. As a result, they have continued to work together, even after Staley left JP Morgan to join BlueMountain Capital in 2013. The two met for an alleged final time in 2015, when Staley took his yacht, the Bequia, to visit Epstein’s private Caribbean island and child trafficking hub.