BARCLAYS chief Jes Staley is set to have his £1.3million bonus axed for trying to unmask a whistleblower.
The bank got two anonymous tip-offs last summer voicing fears over a senior employee.
A Barclays probe run by a law firm said Mr Staley “honestly but mistakenly” tried to discover who wrote the letters, believing them malicious.
The chief, who failed to learn the whistleblower’s identity, will also receive a written warning.
Watchdogs the FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY and PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY are to investigate.
In a warning shot to regulators, Commons Treasury Committee head Andrew Tyrie pledged MPs would “take a close interest” in their findings.
Barclays said it discovered Mr Staley’s actions earlier this year and notified authorities.
Chairman John McFarlane said: “We take Barclays’ culture and the integrity of its controls extremely seriously.”
But the bank insisted Mr Staley “continues to have the board’s unanimous confidence”.
City lawyer Richard Nicolle warned the case raised serious concerns about whistleblowers’ protection in the Square Mile.
He said: “For senior managers to be focused on unmasking whistleblowers will do great damage to the confidence of anyone who wants to anonymously raise legitimate concerns.”
The FCA had “no obvious powers” or track record of protecting nameless sources of tip-offs, he added.
Mr Staley, paid £4.2million last year, emailed bank staff to apologise yesterday and explain his actions.
He wrote: “One of our colleagues was the subject of an unfair personal attack. The allegations related to personal issues from many years ago.
“The intent of the correspondents in airing all this was, in my view, to maliciously smear this person. In my desire to protect our colleague, I got too personally involved.
“My hope was that if we found out who was sending these letters we could try and get them to stop the harassment of a person who did not deserve that treatment.
“Nevertheless, I realise I should have let the compliance function handle this matter. This was a mistake and I apologise for it.”
He joined from US hedge fund BLUEMOUNTAIN CAPITAL and previously spent more than 30 years at JP MORGAN.
His appointment followed the removal of Barclays predecessor Antony Jenkins, who had been pushing through a huge shake- up, including massive job cuts.