Barclays says £721m lawsuit by financier is misconceived

Barclays Canary Wharf

A £721m claim being brought against Barclays by Amanda Staveley – a financier who helped the bank find billions of pounds to stave off a taxpayer bailout in 2008 – is “fundamentally misconceived”, according to court documents filed by the bank.

Staveley has brought a claim against the bank for her firm PCP Capital Partners for fees she argues she should have received for being involved in the crucial financings in 2008 that helped Barclays raise £7bn.

According to Barclays, PCP is claiming damages from a fundraising which took place in October 2008, at the height of the financial crisis. Staveley’s firm was an adviser to Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who put more than £3bn into the financing.

In the defence documents filed in the high court, Barclays said PCP was claiming it was going to be a prospective investor and should have received fees for taking part in the fundraising.

“The claim is fundamentally misconceived. Barclays’ understanding at all material times was that PCP … was acting on behalf of Sheikh Mansour, not on its own behalf. In any event the representations were not made as alleged, and PCP … is unable to establish that it suffered any loss as a result of the alleged representations,” Barclays said.

The bank also denied it made “representations which were false” in relation to possible fees.

The fundraisings Barclays embarked upon during the financial crisis have proved controversial. There were two fundraisings – one in June and in one in October, and PCP’s case is in relation to the second one. They took place when many other banks were raising capital and, by October, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland had been bailed out by taxpayers.

In 2013, Barclays admitted that it was contesting a move by the City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to impose a £50m fine for behaving “recklessly” during the fundraising.

The FCA had concluded that more details should have been disclosed about the fees due to Qatar Holdings, which also backed the fundraising, which amounted to £322m over five years. The Serious Fraud Office is investigating and the FCA’s case on hold.

In the documents rebutting the claim by Staveley, Barclays said it had agreed to pay Qatar Holdings fees of £280m in October 2008 and that it always expected to receive valuable services in return.

Barclays states that Staveley owed the bank £800,000 and significant sums to other creditors at the time of the fundraising and was part of an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) – an agreement with creditors that is a step away from bankruptcy.

In 2008, it was reported this IVA related to a troubled internet venture which had fallen into difficulties a number of years before that.

Representatives for Staveley could not immediately be reached.

In February, her spokesman confirmed the existence of the claim but declined to put a figure on the total being sought by the financier and her firm.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Jill Treanor, for The Guardian on Thursday 16th June 2016 19.45 Europe/London

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