Barclays fights FCA report into 2008 cash call

Oliver Twist

Barclays is up for a scrap.

Barclays is contesting the findings of an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority into its fundraising at the height of the banking crisis five years ago.

The investigation was first revealed a year ago, in the wake of the Libor rigging scandal, when Barclays admitted that its finance director Chris Lucas – who is leaving the bank next year – was among four individuals being scrutinised over the disclosure of fees paid during two fundraisings from Middle Eastern investors that took place in 2008.

The bank, which is also being investigated alongside the four employees, refused to reveal the conclusions reached by the City regulator but said it was contesting them. The regulator has not yet issued a formal warning notice, which would outline more details of its case, but the completion of the preliminary investigation comes as the bank prepares to draw up a prospectus asking investors to back a £6bn cash call vital to plug a £12.8bn capital shortfall.

Antony Jenkins, the bank's chief executive, refused to elaborate on the FCA findings at a time when the bank is under particular scrutiny by shareholders who must decide whether to back the crucial fundraising exercise.

In a formal statement contained in seven pages of legal and regulatory warnings, the bank said the FCA had provided its preliminary findings on 27 June and that it had responded to these on 25 July.

"Barclays expects further developments in the near term," it added.

The City regulator's investigation was later followed by other authorities. In August last year, the Serious Fraud Office also began an investigation into the matter while in October the US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission and the justice department launched an investigation to establish if there were any breaches of the US foreign corrupt practices act.

Last July when Barclays first disclosed the investigation by City regulator – then the Financial Services Authority – Barclays said that it "considers that it satisfied its disclosure obligations and confirms that it will co-operate fully with the FSA's investigation."

The bank said on Tuesday that the investigation was specifically into "certain commercial agreements between Barclays and Qatari interests and whether they have related to Barclays capital raisings in June and November 2008".

"Barclays is co-operating with all the authorities fully. It is not possible to estimate the financial impact upon Barclays should any adverse findings be made," the bank said.

Powered by article was written by Jill Treanor, for The Guardian on Tuesday 30th July 2013 20.24 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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