Former Barclays CEO used phrases like ‘snow white’ in emails with Jeffrey Epstein, report shows

Jes Staley, the ex-chief executive of Barclays, reportedly exchanged 1,200 emails with the sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein over a period of four years.

The emails included phrases like “snow white,” the meaning of this has not yet been determined. Epstein was arrested in 2019 on charges of sex trafficking minors.

Epstein, who died in prison in 2019, had been a client when Staley was running JP Morgan’s private banking division. The report detailing the cache of emails comes less than a fortnight after Staley resigned from Barclays after being shown the preliminary conclusions of a regulatory investigation over his links to Epstein.

The City watchdog had been investigating how the banking boss described his links with Epstein to the bank, as well as the information that was subsequently relayed by Barclays to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The results of that investigation have not yet been made public, and Staley intends to contest the findings.

Kathleen Harris, a lawyer at Arnold & Porter who is representing Staley, said in a legal letter to the Financial Times: “We wish to make it expressly clear that our client had no involvement in any of the alleged crimes committed by Mr Epstein, and codewords were never used by Mr Staley in any communications with Mr Epstein, ever.”

A spokesperson for Staley told the Guardian: “Mr Staley intends to contest the initial findings of the FCA and PRA investigation. He will not be making any further public statements at this point.”

Barclays declined to comment, but said in statement last week that the regulatory investigation did not conclude that Staley “saw, or was aware of, any of Mr Epstein’s alleged crimes.

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