Businesswoman in High Court battle with Barclays says boss ‘lied’

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A businesswoman who says Barclays misled her, shareholders and the market when negotiating investment deals during the 2008 global financial crisis has told a High Court judge that a bank boss “lied”.

Lawyers representing Amanda Staveley say Barclays agreed to provide an unsecured £2 billion loan to Qatari investors.

Ms Staveley’s firm PCP says it is owed money for the work it did setting up a Middle East investment deal for Barclays during the 2008 crisis.

The businesswoman told Mr Justice Waksman on Thursday how she learned about “secret fees” five years later, in 2013.

Ms Staveley said she realised that Roger Jenkins, a then Barclays boss who had been involved in discussions, had “lied” to her.

Her lawyers say the loan was “concealed” from the market, shareholders and from her.

Amanda Staveley legal action
A High Court judge is overseeing a £1.6 billion fight involving businesswoman Amanda Staveley and Barclays (Ian West/PA)

They say “PCP in fact made no loss”.

Mr Justice Waksman began overseeing the trial, which is being shown online and is expected to last two months, at the High Court in London on Monday.

Ms Staveley, who in recent months has been involved in brokering a deal which could see a Saudi consortium take control of Premier League football club Newcastle United, began giving evidence on Thursday.

She told how she discovered “secret fees” in 2013.

“The first I heard of any additional fees paid by Barclays to Qatar in relation to the October 2008 Capital Raising was when I read a press article in the summer of 2013,” Ms Staveley said, in a written witness statement.

“I did know, however, that the payment by Barclays of any additional fees to Qatar ran totally contrary to the statements that Qatar was getting ‘the same deal’.”

She said she realised that “Mr Jenkins lied to me” about the terms on which Qatar was investing in Barclays.

Rolls Building
The case is being heard at the Rolls Building in central London (Steve Parsons/PA)

Joe Smouha QC said the claim arose out of the recapitalisation of Barclays during the financial crisis in October and November 2008.

Mr Smouha said PCP had introduced a Middle Eastern investor, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, to Barclays and he “subscribed” to invest £3.25 billion.

Mr Smouha said the only other “strategic investors” were the state of Qatar and its prime minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani.

But he said PCP had been induced to invest on “manifestly worse terms” than the Qatari investors.

Mr Smouha said the Qatari investors had demanded and, in order to obtain the investment, Barclays had agreed to pay an additional fee of £280 million, a “yet further fee of £66 million” and to provide “an entirely unsecured loan” of £2 billion.

He told the judge: “Barclays deliberately misled not only PCP but also its own shareholders and the market in this regard.”

Jeffery Onions QC, who is leading the Barclays legal team, has described PCP’s claim as “made of sand”.

He said Ms Staveley’s evidence was not supported by documentation.

In February, Mr Jenkins and two other former Barclays’ bosses were cleared of fraud over a £4 billion investment deal with Qatar at the height of the banking crisis.

The Serious Fraud Office had alleged that lucrative terms given to Qatar were hidden from the market and other investors.

But Mr Jenkins, Thomas Kalaris and Richard Boath were acquitted by jurors following a trial at the Old Bailey.

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