Friday 27 April 2018

Ex-Barclays chief faces probe over Qatar fees

Robert Diamond, former chief executive officer of Barclays
Robert Diamond, former chief executive officer of Barclays

Suzi Ring

UK prosecutors will question Robert Diamond, former chief executive officer of Barclays, in a probe into fees paid to Qatar's sovereign-wealth fund as the bank sought to raise money to avoid a government bailout, it has been claimed.

Mr Diamond is one of 12 individuals the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) asked to interview under caution, according to a person with knowledge of the request who asked not to be identified. Anything said in an interview under caution can be used as evidence in a criminal trial.

"Mr Diamond will continue to assist wherever he can on anything related to Barclays," a representative for Mr Diamond said in an emailed statement. "He is very proud of his tenure at the bank."

The investigation centres on £322m (€395m) the London-based bank paid the Qatar Investment Authority as it was raising £7bn in 2008 from investors, including the Qataris, during the financial crisis.

Mr Diamond was head of Barclays' investment bank at the time of the fundraising. Barclays' former chief financial officer Chris Lucas and other executives who have left the bank, including Roger Jenkins and John Varley, have also been under investigation as part of the probe into the Qatar bailout. The SFO has been interviewing a number of witnesses in the case in recent months, according to another person close to the probe.

Barclays is also contesting findings by the Financial Conduct Authority, Britain's markets regulator, which is considering fining the bank £50m over the matter. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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