Standard Chartered’s head of compliance has quit after the bank found his management style, behaviour and language towards colleagues was “inappropriate” and caused offence, while saying it had not warranted his dismissal.
A person familiar with the matter said Mr Barry, a New York-educated lawyer by training who spent much of his career in Singapore, upset some colleagues with his “abrupt” and “no niceties demeanour”.
The emerging markets bank said Neil Barry had “expressed his regret if any of his interactions with his colleagues caused upset or offence — that was never his intention”. It added that he had agreed to leave with immediate effect.
The findings are another blow for the efforts of Bill Winters, StanChart’s chief executive, to tighten up its compliance and culture after several run-ins with regulators around the world, including fines for US sanctions breaches and for failings in its money-laundering controls.
The bank launched an investigation into Mr Barry’s behaviour after several of his colleagues blew the whistle on what they perceived to be harassment.
The person familiar with the matter said Mr Barry had often been brutally direct and barked orders at staff in a “very American and not very British way”. Mr Barry did not respond to a request for comment via his LinkedIn account.
Tracey McDermott, former head of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, took interim charge of the compliance function after Mr Barry was suspended. She will continue in that role as well as head of corporate, public and regulatory affairs and brand and marketing.
Ms McDermott and Mark Smith, chief risk officer, said in a memo to staff: “As a result of the investigation, we went through a full and fair disciplinary process.”
“This concluded that Neil’s managerial style, behaviour and language towards some of his colleagues was inappropriate and not in line with our valued behaviours, although it fell short of warranting his dismissal,” they said.
Mr Barry joined StanChart in 2009 from Citigroup and worked his way up the bank’s compliance function for various business units based in Singapore before moving to London in September 2015, when Mr Winters promoted him to be head of compliance.
Ms McDermott joined StanChart at the start of last year after missing out on the top job at the FCA and leaving the regulator in 2016.
Last year, StanChart said the term of its deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the US Department of Justice and the New York district attorney had been extended by eight months until July 28 2018.
Extending the DPA will align it with the term of an independent compliance monitor appointed by regulators to check that the bank does what it promised regulators as part of its deal to escape prosecution for sanction breaches in 2012.
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