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Barclays Says Compliance Chief Sants Takes Leave of Absence

Barclays hired Hector Sants, the former chief executive officer of the Financial Services Authority, in December after the lender was fined 290 million pounds  by regulators last year for submitting false London and euro interbank offered rates.  Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Barclays hired Hector Sants, the former chief executive officer of the Financial Services Authority, in December after the lender was fined 290 million pounds by regulators last year for submitting false London and euro interbank offered rates. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc said Hector Sants, head of compliance and government, is to take a temporary leave of absence because of “exhaustion and stress” less than a year into the job.

Sants, 57, plans to return to work at Britain’s second-largest bank by assets in 2014, a spokesman for London-based Barclays said by telephone today. The company declined to say who will fill in for Sants.

Barclays hired Sants, the former chief executive officer of the Financial Services Authority, in December after the lender was fined 290 million pounds ($462 million) by regulators last year for submitting false London and euro interbank offered rates. He reports to CEO Antony Jenkins, who is seeking to overhaul the culture of the bank following scandals including wrongly sold loan insurance.

Sants has “been busy,” said Ian Gordon, an analyst at Investec Ltd. in London with a buy rating on the stock. “Barclays has been working its way through a cloud of legacy compliance agenda.”

Barclays rose 1.1 percent to 279.85 pence in London trading, valuing the company at about 45 billion pounds. The shares have gained 15 percent this year.

Sants’s leave comes after Lloyds Banking Group Plc CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio returned from a nine-week absence for exhaustion in 2011, the same year he took over the helm of Britain’s biggest mortgage lender.

‘Ethical’ Decisions

Sants stepped down as head of the FSA in June 2012, 10 months before it was disbanded and its powers given to two separate regulators. He urged senior bankers to make restrained decisions on pay and be “ethical” in his final speech as the U.K.’s top regulator in April 2012.

As head of the FSA, Sants was a key figure in the 2008 negotiations that led to the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and prevented Barclays from buying some of the New York-based bank’s assets, according to “In Fed We Trust,” a book by David Wessel. Before joining the FSA, Sants was an executive at Credit Suisse Group AG, where he led the bank’s European, Middle East and Asia business.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Menon in London at jmenon1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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