Barclays back in the spotlight over £30m payout in 2008 rescue deal

 

It is the story that will not die down. Just as Barclays seems to be putting its past behind it, more revelations about the Middle Eastern cash calls that saved it from a government bailout during the financial crisis have surfaced.

The latest were provided by Euromoney, the trade title, which reported this week on leaked correspondence from the Abu Dhabi end of the rescue deal, involving its adviser Amanda Staveley.

Now Ms Staveley has engaged the law firm Aslan Charles Kousetta to investigate how those documents, including explosive emails between her and her clients, came to be seen by Euromoney and whether there are legal avenues to pursue.

Sources close to the deal maker said she believed the documents to have been stolen. That is because they involve several people close to the deal, some of whom have refused to make a comment on it.

It is understood that Ms Staveley believes she knows the identity of the person who leaked them and is weighing up options with her legal advisers, although it is thought she and her firm, PCP Capital Partners, will seek to avoid police involvement.

According to the report, Ms Staveley and her company were paid £29.5m for her role in advising on the deal in November 2008 that saw Abu Dhabi pump £3.5bn into Barclays. But not without a struggle. At the end of 2008 she was given a deadline of accepting £5m or nothing. At one point her personal assistant, Jo Mills, was said to have written in an email: "We are going to go armed and we will get this f****** money."

Sheikh Mansour was paid £110m in commission for investing in the bank, and if this is where the money Ms Staveley had to fight for came from it would raise eyebrows. The commission was reportedly deducted from the £3.5bn raised.

So far the principal focus of investigators has been on the Qatari end of the financing, fees paid, and the as yet unproven allegation that Barclays provided a loan to finance the Qatari investment into the bank. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing on the part of the Qataris themselves, who also invested in June and November 2008 through both their sovereign wealth fund and a vehicle linked to the royal family.

While the revelations involving Ms Staveley are eye-opening, whether they will catch the attention of investigators remains to be seen. The Financial Services Authority would not comment yesterday.

Barclays has declined to comment on the affair because of the ongoing investigations. That is likely to remain its position until the various investigations are complete.

While the revelations have created more ripples in the media, the City is more sanguine.

David Buik, the veteran commentator for the stockbroker Panmure, summed up the feelings of many when he said: "Barclays – in fact, any bank – is an easy target in regards to the misunderstanding of business practices or culture. As the whole world knows, the culture in the Middle East is totally different to that in the West. If Amanda Staveley walks away with £30m as her share of the spoils [for advising Abu Dhabi], then good luck to her!"

He added: "Barclays must just walk away from this regurgitated irritation and become 'Little Red Riding Hood' – all things to all men under Sir David Walker and Antony Jenkins. It serves no useful purpose responding to yesteryear's requirements with today's solutions."

Mr Buik points out that, at the time the deal was done, while the terms may have been unpopular, it amounted to "an essential loan" that kept Barclays clear of the UK Government.

Timeline: Middle-East cash calls

June 2008

The Qatar Investment Authority and Sumitomo, a Japanese bank, pump £4.5bn into Barclays.

November 2008

A second fundraising raises £7bn, this time also involving Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, advised by Amanda Staveley.

June 2009

Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company, part of the Abu Dhabian end of the fundraising, sells up, netting profits of £1.5bn.

July 2012

Barclays announces that four "current and former" employees under investigation over the Qatari deal.

August 2012

The Serious Fraud Office formally launches an investigation.

April 2013

Barclays announce that its finance chief, Chris Lucas, is to step down.

April 2013

Euromoney publishes leaked correspondence between Ms Staveley and Sheikh Mansour.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfordshire - £350 - £360

£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...

Chief Financial Officer

120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?