Barclays Plc has earmarked “tens of millions of pounds” to establish a Compliance Career Academy for staff ranging from rookies just hired out of university through to mid-career professionals and as senior as managing directors, according to a spokesperson for Barclays.

The decision to set up the academy was a response to changes in the regulatory environment over the past three years, the spokesperson said.

Barclays was fined $450 million for its part in a global scandal involving the rigging of the Libor interest-rate benchmark and this year another $44.24 million for manipulating gold prices. New York's attorney general last week filed a lawsuit alleging fraud in the "dark pool" trading venue run by Barclays. Global regulators are currently carrying out a probe into allegations of collusion and price rigging in the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market.

About 200 graduates in January began a compliance course, run by the Cambridge Judge School of Business which aims, in eight modules spanning two years, to give them a solid understanding of the “technical and behavioural” aspects of compliance, the spokesperson said.

Cambridge was chosen from among 160 tenders for the job of making sure Barclays’ best and brightest are also its most law abiding

In April, the third and highest level of compliance training kicked off and by now includes all of the company’s more than 50 managing directors around the world, the person said. Course content largely relates to hefty issues including how to be a role model and leadership as they relate to compliance, the person said.

The spokesperson however declined to discuss the syllabus, to say how many hours a week staff would be expected devote to their studies, which are pursued alongside their normal work duties, or give any other indication of the specific content.

Classes are to be conducted online and include lectures and presentations as well as in-the-flesh classes at training institutions in New York, Singapore and Johannesburg as well as Cambridge, UK.

While other banks may say they have taken steps to improve compliance awareness, Barclays is the only bank so far to appoint an external party to manage the courses, the person said.

Established in 1990, Cambridge Judge Business School has set up a The Centre for Compliance and Trust that aims to “lead the effective development of skills and behaviours of those who lead and drive practices,” according to the school’s website.

(VoR)