In court documents filed in the UK High Court on 1 September, PCP Capital Partners alleged that the GBP 7.3 billion capital-raising carried out in 2008 by Barclays constituted ‘a fraud on its shareholders perpetrated through a series of unlawful transactions and dishonest conduct towards existing shareholders and prospective investors’. In response, Barclays said, “We believe the claim against Barclays is misconceived and without merit and Barclays will be vigorously defending it.”
Founded in 2005, PCP Capital Partners LLP is led by investment banker Amanda Staveley, who was instrumental in assisting Barclays in raising funds in Abu Dhabi.
The civil case, PCP Capital Partners LLP & Anr v. Barclays Bank Plc, filed in the High Court of Justice Queens Bench Division, centres on claims by PCP that Barclays gave undertakings of equal treatment for the syndicate of investors that PCP had put together and of Qatari investors.
PCP is claiming damages of more than $1 billion. While the case is not expected to come to trial until next year, this latest filing is the first time that it has been alleged that Barclays itself funded the investment from Qatar by lending the funds required to those investors.
Separately, the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is also continuing to investigate the fee payments made to Qatari interests during Barclays fund-raising exercise. Its investigation is expected to conclude by end-2016. Back in 2014 the SFO interviewed former Barclays’ chief executives Bob Diamond and John Varley, former finance director Chris Lucas and former tax advisory boss Roger Jenkins.
In September 2013, it was revealed that the UK Financial Conduct Authority had sought to impose a GBP 50 million fine on the bank with regard to the dealings with Qatari investors. Barclays is also disputing this penalty.