Compliance chief at scandal-hit Barclays takes time out due to “stress and exhaustion”

Barclays’ head of compliance and regulatory relations Hector Sants, who was brought in from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to help overhaul the bank’s ties with regulators, is taking a temporary leave of absence 10 months into the role.

A spokesperson for Barclays said Sants is due back in January and confirmed that he is taking time off due to stress and exhaustion.

There will be no subsequent changes on the central compliance department, with senior leaders in the team taking on additional responsibilites until Sants returns in 2014. It is understood that Sants has no role in selecting external law firms, an activity currently carried out by the in-house legal team.

Sants, who headed the FSA during the financial crisis, between 2007 and June 2012, took up the newly-created role of head of compliance and government and regulatory relations for the UK bank on 21 January this year. The position put him in overall charge of the company’s global compliance activities soon after Barclays was fined £290m for rigging the London interbank offered rate (Libor) last summer.

The bank’s in-house legal team underwent a minor restructuring following his appointment (12 December 2012). The hire meant that a small number of Barclays employees who previously reported to group general counsel Mark Harding, soon to be former PNC Financial Services GC Bob Hoyt (30 August 2013), instead reported to Sants.  

Hoyt will take on the role of group general counsel in November after Harding announced his intention to retire earlier this year. He is understood to have already started his handover period at the bank.

Barclays did not provide a comment.