Barclays-Qatar Probe to Have Progress in 2014, SFO’s Green Says
U.K. fraud prosecutors’ will announce significant developments next year in a probe into fees paid by Barclays Plc (BARC) to Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund for a 2008 fundraising that helped the bank avoid a bailout.
David Green, director of the U.K. Serious Fraud Office, said in an interview today, the agency would progress its year-old investigation in early 2014. He also said there would be new information in a separate probe into rigging of benchmark interest rates in “due course.”
The Barclays probe centers on fees paid by the London-based bank to the Qatar Investment Authority as part of a 7 billion-pound ($11.26 billion) fundraising during the financial crisis, a move that helped the lender avoid taking government money. The U.K. markets regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, said last month in a warning notice that it is considering fining the bank 50 million pounds over the issue.
Four current and former Barclays employees, including former Chief Financial Officer Chris Lucas, are being investigated as part of the FCA probe. Lucas, who resigned from the bank in August, didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
Phillippa-Jane Vermoter, a spokeswoman for Barclays, declined to comment on Green’s comments. Barclays said last month that it would contest the FCA fine.
The SFO is also expected to file additional charges against traders and brokers linked to the London interbank offered rate scandal as soon as Oct. 21, when a court hearing is scheduled for three men who have already been arrested in the U.K. probe, lawyers familiar with the investigation said last month.
About six people may be charged with conspiring to rig the benchmark interest rate, the lawyers said.
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