The bank said Sants, who joined in January after five years at the helm of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), had quit after concluding he would “not be able to return to work in the near term”.
He was appointed in the wake of a £290 million fine handed to Barclays last year for its part in the Libor-rigging scandal, and chief executive Antony Jenkins said the former watchdog had made “significant progress towards creating a world-class compliance function” during his ten months with the group.
Sants was knighted in the Queen’s new year honours for services to financial regulation, but the move attracted controversy because MPs had accused the FSA of being “asleep at the wheel” in the run-up to the collapse of Northern Rock.
Barclays has launched the search for a permanent replacement for Sants, with Allen Meyer, its head of compliance, corporate and investment banking, taking on the job on an interim basis.
Antonio Horta-Osorio, chief executive of rival Lloyds Banking Group, took two months off at the end of 2011 because of sleep deprivation and exhaustion.