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Compliance Ain't Easy: Stressed Out Sants Takes Leave of Absence from Barclays

Bruce Carton | October 18, 2013

Compliance Week readers know as well as anyone that compliance ain't easy. After just 10 months on the job as Barclays' head of compliance and regulatory relations, Sir Hector Sants can attest to that, as well. On Tuesday, Barclays stated that Sants--the former head of the UK's FSA who was hired by Barclays in January 2013--will be taking a three month leave of absence after being diagnosed as suffering from “exhaustion and stress.” Sants is expected to return to his position with Barclays in 2014.

Sants hold the title of "Sir" after being awarded knighthood in January 2013 in the Queen's New Year Honours "for services to financial regulation after overseeing sweeping reforms following the nationalisation of Northern Rock and the bailout of major banks." He was a high-profile hire for Barclays, and a key part of its effort to revamp its compliance program and to deal with a series of damaging scandals. The FT reports that in addition to the demands of his position, Sants has had "fractious relationships" with other senior Barclays executives.

A Barclays spokesman said that "rather than carry on working and risk more serious consequences to his health, [Sants] is following medical advice and will be taking a leave of absence until the end of the year."