Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 11 July 2020

Barclays exec tells of irritation over Qatar financing delay

Roger Jenkins is accused of fraud over fees the bank paid Qatar in 2008

Roger Jenkins, former chairman of investment banking for the Middle East at Barclays, is on trial for fraud. Bloomberg
Roger Jenkins, former chairman of investment banking for the Middle East at Barclays, is on trial for fraud. Bloomberg

Former Barclays executive Roger Jenkins was tired and “quite irritated” with colleagues as they were unable to resolve last-minute issues that risked derailing a multi-billion-dollar investment into the bank from Qatar at the height of the financial crisis.

Mr Jenkins, 64, told a London jury of his frustration on the fifth day of cross-examination by a prosecutor for the Serious Fraud Office, which is trying him on counts of fraud in connection with fees Barclays paid Qatar in 2008.

The Qatari capital injection in October 2008, the second that year, was essential to protect Barclays from a UK government bailout.

As the investment banking head for the Middle East, Jenkins had secured the investment through his relationship with former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, but he grew frustrated that his colleagues had not resolved remaining issues, Mr Jenkins said.

Barclays paid Qatar and Sheikh Hamad £322 million via two advisory services agreements in connection with the two 2008 capital raisings.

While the SFO alleges that these were nothing more than investment commissions and should have been disclosed to shareholders, Jenkins said Barclays got value from the deals through the expanded networking opportunities the Qataris could provide. Jenkins and two other former Barclays executives deny any wrongdoing.

Richard Boath, one of two co-defendants, first described Jenkins’s ire in a phone call with another colleague at the time, prosecutor Ed Brown said, reading from a transcript in which Boath said: “He’s just now got irritated with everybody” and used strong language to urge them to fix it.

Asked about the exchange in court, Jenkins said, “I was getting quite irritated. I was tired, Mr. Brown, at this stage.”

Updated: January 10, 2020 06:37 PM

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