Stressed Barclays compliance chief takes time out

It’s no secret that Barclays has tried to overhaul its reputation in the wake of the Libor-rigging scandal, but the high-pressure to turn things around is taking its toll on those responsible. After just 10 months in the newly-created role of compliance chief, former FSA-chief Sir Hector Sants is taking time out due to stress and exhaustion

Sants was put in charge of the bank’s global compliance activities soon after it was fined £290m for rigging the London interbank offered rate (Libor) last summer (which led to the bank’s in-house legal team asking US firm Boies Schiller & Flexner to work with them in London).

But the reason for Sants’ temporary leave points to deeper issues – should big institutions be focusing more on staff wellbeing?

Lawyers have plenty to say on the subject. “People need more than just support. They need to be able to understand how it [stress] happens,” commented one reader last month, after Hogan Lovells announced it was going to review stress management in wake of a partner’s suicide. “Instead of laying on flowery training sessions on how to become resilient to stress, this firm needs to make a sharp culture change,” commented another reader.

Sants is due to return to Barclays in January 2014, when new group general counsel Bob Hoyt will have stepped into the role. With Hoyt starting his handover period this week, here’s hoping he’ll take good care of in-house legal.

Lucy Burton, senior reporter
Twitter: @TheLawyerLucy

Also on The Lawyer:

Employment – No5 Chambers: The right to pray and work
Employment – Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman: Looking forward: practical implications of the JOBS Act changes to private placements
Litigation – Mourant Ozannes: An employer’s ‘discretion’ — an unfettered right?
Company – DLA Piper: What is an indemnity anyway?
Tax – Mills & Reeve: VAT problems in store?