Barclays Spending Millions on 'Truthfulness' Compliance Academy Amid Fraud Lawsuit
Barclays Spending Millions on 'Truthfulness' Compliance Academy Amid Fraud LawsuitReuters

Barclays is spending millions of pounds on creating a new compliance academy which will train staff on fundamental principles such as "truthfulness" in a bid to improve the bank's track record in adhering to regulations.

Barclays will launch the Compliance Career Academy in association with Cambridge Judge Business School in a bid to train 2,100 relevant staff, as it battles a major securities fraud lawsuit by the New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman.

Barclays spends around £300m (€379m, $515m) a year on compliance and the new academy will be staffed by everyone from lawyers to philosophers. It will even train existing Barclays staff on "truthfulness" and subjects like "What is Compliance".

It is thought Barclays is "spending millions" on the new academy but no definite figure has been revealed.

"Other people are hiring arms and legs. We're investing in brains," said Michael Roemer, head of compliance at Barclays.

"We have a Barclays way, guidance on the way we want people to conduct themselves, that has to be embedded in the business," added company chairman David Walker.

"If we can't embed it from the top to the bottom we will have failed. I can't think of any executive I would rather have in charge in these circumstances [than Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins].

"I am sorry to say there will be accidents. They are not evidence of the failure of what we are rolling out, they are indicative that it takes time," added Walker, in relation to the US lawsuit.

New York regulator Schneiderman hit Barclays with a securities fraud lawsuit after claiming that the bank gained an unfair edge through its high frequency trading (HFT) practices and systematically misled clients.

Schneiderman said his evidence is based around internal communications provided by former employees.

Barclays boss Jenkins issued a memo stating that the bank is looking into Schneiderman's claims.

"We are working urgently to understand the situation. We are undertaking a full internal investigation into these allegations, which will report directly to me. To assist us in that we have brought in substantial external resources to ensure that the investigation can proceed at pace and is properly objective. That is critical," said Jenkins in the memo seen by IBTimes UK.