Barclays said reluctant to divulge fundraising info to SFO

Barclays is resisting efforts by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office to make it disclose documents linked to the bank’s 2008 fundraising the bank says are legally privileged, said three people with knowledge of the matter.

Bloomberg News reports that Barclays and London-based Clifford Chance, its adviser on both fundraising from Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund and the SFO probe, are refusing to hand over evidence tied to the 2008 deal that’s being investigated by the prosecutor, said one of the people, who asked not be identified because the talks are private. Attorney-client privilege prevents the disclosure of some communications between a lawyer and their client.

The SFO opened an investigation in 2012 into 322 million pounds ($525 million) in advisory fees the London-based bank paid the Qatar Investment Authority as it raised 7 billion pounds to escape a taxpayer bailout during the financial crisis.

The SFO, which initially focused its investigation into alleged corruption surrounding the deal, has since shifted its focus to whether the bank and executives made false and misleading statements in relation to its duty as a public company, one of the people said.

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Barclays Said to Rebuff Prosecutor’s Request for Qatar Evidence

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