Feb 26, 2019

Barclays executive unaware of £320m fees paid to Qatar

Barclays' head of sovereign wealth funds at the time of the bank's emergency capital calls in 2008 knew nothing of an advisory agreement to pay £320m in fees to the Qatari sovereign wealth fund, a court has heard during a landmark fraud trial. The jury is hearing the criminal case brought against John Varley, Barclays' chief executive in 2008, along with three other top bankers. The four face allegations that they did not properly disclose to either the market or to other investors fees paid to the Qataris in exchange for their participation in two emergency fundraisings during the financial crisis that saved the bank from a UK government bailout. The SFO alleges that the bankers agreed a payment of £322m through sham advisory agreements designed purely to funnel secret fees to the Qataris to induce them to invest. "Obviously they want the largest discount and the best fee," Mr Jenkins wrote to colleagues after an initial meeting with Qatari investors in May 2008, more than a month before the bank first tapped them and other SWFs for £4.4bn. Ms Huey Evans told the SFO she was unaware of any services Qatar provided to the bank, beyond an introduction to Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, an Abu Dhabi royal who earlier in 2008 bought Manchester City Football Club.

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