FILE PHOTO: Chief executive officer of Barclays, Jes Staley, takes part in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in New York

INTERNATIONAL - UK regulators probing Barclays chief executive Jes Staley’s attempts to unmask a whistle-blower will probably take until the end of the year to conclude their investigation, people with knowledge of the process said.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) expects to reach a final decision on Staley’s fate in December, said the people, who asked not to be identified for speaking about an open case.

That would be two months later than the original October target indicated to the bank, they said. It was not clear to them why the probe had been extended.

In the past few months, the FCA interviewed the chief executive twice, as well as other officials including Mike Ashley, the board member who supervises whistle-blowing complaints, and chief operating officer Paul Compton.

Unresolved

A spokesperson for the bank declined to comment, as did one for the FCA.

The delay adds to a series of unresolved issues hanging over the lender and its top executive, who may have to step down if the regulator deems him unfit to lead a financial institution. The firm is also preparing to fight the US Justice Department in court over a multi- billion-dollar fine for its role in selling mortgage bonds that contributed to the financial crisis.

In the UK, four former Barclays executives will stand trial in 2019 on allegations they conspired to commit fraud over the bank's 2008 fundraising with Qatar. The bank's stock has dropped 15 percent this year, the biggest drop on the 44-member Bloomberg Europe 500 Banks and Financial Services Index. 

- BLOOMBERG