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Barclays' compliance chief takes leave for stress

Hector Sants
Chris Ratcliffe | Getty Images

Hector Sants, the man who was once in charge of overseeing the entire U.K. financial industry, has had to take a leave of absence from his new job as head of compliance for Barclays, because he is suffering from stress and exhaustion.

Sants, who was head of the now-defunct regulator the Financial Services Authority for five years during the height of the world's financial crisis, will return to work at the start of next year, Barclays said.

"Rather than carry on working, and risk more serious consequences to his health, he is following medical advice and will be taking a leave of absence until the end of the year," a Barclays spokesman said on Tuesday.

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Barclays has had a difficult couple of years, and recently paid hefty fines over rigging the key overnight bank rate Libor and the mis-selling of both loan and credit card insurance.

Sants was hired to the new role of Head of Compliance and Government and Regulatory Relations in January, and was tasked with overseeing all compliance activities across the bank.

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At the time, Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins said the appointment of Sants would "send a clear signal of intent in terms of my personal commitment to delivering a culture in Barclays where compliance is universally welcomed and observed."

It is not the first time a senior bank employee has had to step back from the job temporarily. In 2011, Lloyds Banking Group CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio took a leave of absence from October until the end of the year because he too was suffering from stress.

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