Jan 24, 2019

Barclays executives said bank ‘dead’ without Qatari funds, court told

Senior executives at Barclays in 2008 were desperate for a multi-pound injection from Qatari investors, admitting that without it the bank was "Dead" and that the Gulf investors had Barclays "By the balls", a court has heard. The executives' efforts were ultimately successful and Qatari investors - including the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund and prime minister at the time, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani - put in more than £4bn into Barclays across two emergency capital calls worth more than £11bn, which ultimately saved the bank from a UK government bailout during the financial crisis. A jury at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday heard that the bank gave the Qataris the code name "Quail" during the fundraising negotiations, dubbed Project Heron. The Qataris played "Hardball", Mr Varley described to his chairman, Marcus Agius, after meeting Sheikh Hamad at the Four Seasons Hotel in London, along with Bob Diamond, who at the time headed Barclays' investment bank, and Roger Jenkins, described in court as the "Gatekeeper" of the bank's relationship with Qatar. The Qataris' demands included Barclays investing in Qatar National Bank, and a commission fee of 3.75 per cent in exchange for participating in Barclays' capital call.

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