Barclays to fight Qatari verdict

Barclays plans to contest the Financial Conduct Authority’s verdict on its 2008 fundraising with Qatari investors, which could see the bank hit with a £50m penalty.

The FCA has been investigating the deal, which helped the bank to avoid a Government bailout and the associated re-payment terms and conditions put on bailed-out rivals Lloyds and RBS.

The bank failed to disclose £322m in fees paid to Qatari investors. Barclays says the payments were for advisory services but the regulator argues the payments were used to secure the investors’ participation in the capital raisings, the bank’s prospectus for its £5.8bn rights issue reveals.

“In this regard, the FCA considers that Barclays and Barclays Bank acted recklessly. The financial penalty in the warning notices against the group is £50m. However, Barclays and Barclays Bank continue to contest the findings,” the prospectus says.

It adds that the Serious Fraud Office is investigating the same agreements, but its probe is at an earlier stage than the FCA’s and its conclusions have not been drawn. The US Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission are also looking into the deal.