Barclays’ chiefs face quiz over Middle East fundraising


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The Independent Online

Barclays’ chief executive Antony Jenkins and its chairman Sir David Walker will face a grilling by politicians early next week after fresh allegations were made about the bank’s Middle East fundraising in 2008, which enabled it to avoid a Government bail-out.

Jenkins and Walker are due in front of the MPs and Lords who make up the Commission on Banking Standards on Tuesday morning.

Today it was alleged by the Financial Times that regulators are examining whether the bank had lent Qatar money so it could buy Barclays shares as part of the bank’s multi-billion cash call in 2008.

If that happened without full disclosure it would be a serious  breach of market rules. The Financial Services Authority and Serious Fraud Office have been investigating the fundraising and particularly the fees involved since last summer. They have named finance director Chris Lucas among four executives being investigated over the capital raising.

Barclays received cash injections totalling £6.1 billion from Qatar Holding, which is a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority, and Challenger, an investment vehicle of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, the prime minister of Qatar and his family.

Neither of the Qatari investors is accused of any wrongdoing.

Barclays declined to comment on today’s allegations and a spokesman said: “This is an ongoing investigation and we cannot comment on it.”