Ex-Barclays sovereign wealth boss says she did not know about Qatar service deal

By Kirstin Ridley LONDON (Reuters) - A former Barclays manager tasked with building relationships with sovereign wealth funds in 2008 did not know about deals for additional services from Qatar after it invested billions of pounds in the British bank during the credit crisis. The evidence of Gay Huey Evans, a former divisional vice-chairman of investment banking and investment management at Barclays, was read out at London's Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday during the criminal trial of four former senior executives, including ex-chief executive John Varley.

Reuters February 27, 2019 01:05:28 IST
Ex-Barclays sovereign wealth boss says she did not know about Qatar service deal

ExBarclays sovereign wealth boss says she did not know about Qatar service deal

By Kirstin Ridley

LONDON (Reuters) - A former Barclays manager tasked with building relationships with sovereign wealth funds in 2008 did not know about deals for additional services from Qatar after it invested billions of pounds in the British bank during the credit crisis.

The evidence of Gay Huey Evans, a former divisional vice-chairman of investment banking and investment management at Barclays, was read out at London's Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday during the criminal trial of four former senior executives, including ex-chief executive John Varley.

Varley, Roger Jenkins, Tom Kalaris and Richard Boath are charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in a case that revolves around how Barclays raised more than 11 billion pounds ($14.6 billion) from investors, including Qatar, to stave off a state bailout more than a decade ago.

The men, the most senior bankers to face a jury trial over credit crisis-era conduct, deny wrongdoing. Qatar, which invested more than 4 billion pounds in Barclays in 2008, has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Prosecutors for the Serious Fraud Office allege the bankers misled the market, shareholders and other investors by not disclosing around 322 million pounds in extra fees paid to Qatari investors through so-called additional service agreements, described as a "mechanism of paying the Qataris what they wanted".

Huey Evans, a witness for the prosecution who is now deputy chair of the Financial Reporting Council accounting watchdog, started reporting directly to Jenkins around September 2008.

In testimony read by prosecutors, Huey Evans said she would have been "pushier" about what services Qatar was providing if she had known about the deal.

"I am not aware of any advisory services provided by Qatar apart from the introduction of Sheikh Mansour (of Abu Dhabi) to the October 2008 fund raising," she was quoted as saying.

The court has been told that Qatari investors were paid a separate 66 million pounds for introducing Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan to Barclays' second capital raising in October 2008.

Jenkins was the gatekeeper of the Qatari relationship, but with oil prices rising in 2008, Huey Evans' team hoped to build deeper relationships with oil-rich states and that Jenkins would facilitate introductions. But her department was frustrated at a lack of progress, the court heard.

She said that "he (Jenkins) tried to be helpful" but that business in the Middle East was complex.

The bank had lacked a close relationship with Abu Dhabi and executives who wanted to meet the Crown Prince could be asked to sit and wait for hours - or days. "No-one liked sitting there," Huey Evans was quoted as saying.

The jury in the trial, which is scheduled to last up to six months, was told the witness testimony could be read out if there were no questions from the defence.

(Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; Editing by Alexander Smith)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.