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The boss of Barclays is being probed by UK regulators over his description of a relationship with disgraced paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Jes Staley, who joined Barclays in 2015, said he was introduced to Epstein in 2000 when he was in charge of the private bank at US financial company JPMorgan Chase. However, reports have emerged in the past six months which have caused the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority to look into Mr Staley further.

The regulators are now investigating whether Mr Staley accurately described his professional relationship with multimillionaire sex offender Epstein.

Barclays said: ‘As has been widely reported, earlier in his career Mr Staley developed a professional relationship with Mr Epstein.

‘In the summer of 2019, in light of the renewed media interest in the relationship, Mr Staley volunteered and gave to certain executives, and the chairman, an explanation of his relationship with Mr Epstein.’

‘The relationship between Mr Staley and Mr Epstein was the subject of an inquiry from the Financial Conduct Authority, to which the company responded,’ added the bank.

‘The FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority subsequently commenced an investigation, which is ongoing, into Mr Staley’s characterisation to the company of his relationship with Mr Epstein and the subsequent description of that relationship in the company’s response to the FCA.’

The revelation comes as Barclays’ annual report was published, showing that Mr Staley took home a pay packet of £5.93 million – up from £3.86 million a year earlier.

Barclays said pre-tax profits for the year jumped 25 per cent to £4.4 billion, with its preferred measure of ‘return on tangible equity’ up 9 per cent.

Epstein, 66, killed himself in a New York jail cell in August, last year, while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

A total of 16 women have claimed they were sexually abused by Epstein.

Virginia Giuffre, then Roberts, claimed she was forced by the financier to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17.

She alleges she was trafficked by the multimillionaire and made to have sex with the duke three times by Epstein and his girlfriend – once in London, one time in New York and another at Epstein’s private Caribbean island.

The Duke of York has denied having any sexual relationship or contact with Mrs Giuffre.