Barclays’ chief executive Jes Staley will shortly be handed a hefty fine- running into the millions, for his actions over a whistleblower at the global bank.

But he and senior colleagues will almost certainly heave a collective sigh of relief, given that he has not been ruled to have acted without integrity, and can continue running the bank.

Instead, watchdogs found he failed to act with “due skill, care and diligence” in his handling of the matter in which he sought to protect the reputation of a senior colleague he thought was being unjustifiably sullied.

Many will support his conduct, knowing fully well how the whistleblowing process can be exploited for personal vendettas and other reasons.

But despite the potential for manipulation, an individual’s chance to blow the whistle is a critical part of any organisation’s ability to police itself against errant behaviour.

Every time there are attempts to smoke out a whistleblower, it reduces the likelihood of people with genuine concerns coming forward.

The end result is that the wrong kind of behaviour is likely to continue without safeguards in place- at banks and the wider corporate sector- where a culture of wrongdoing appears to surface again and again.