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Commercial Bank Qatar
18 марта 2013, 21:29

CBQ agrees terms for Alternatifbank stake

Commercial Bank of Qatar agrees terms on majority stake in Alternatifbank, a small Turkish lender, in latest sign of Doha’s reach

05 февраля 2013, 12:21

Barclays adds £1bn to mis-selling compensation bill

• Bank's costs on PPI swell by £600m, on swaps by £400m• New boss Antony Jenkins to appear before MPsThe cost to UK banks of providing redress for mis-selling has mounted, with Barclays setting aside another £1bn to compensate its customers.Just hours before its new chief executive, Antony Jenkins, was due to appear before the banking standards commission, the bank added another £600m to its existing £2bn payment protection insurance (PPI) bill.It also added an extra £400m to the provisions for mis-selling interest rate swaps to small businesses, taking the total cost to £850m.The bank told the City about the extra cost in an unscheduled announcement a week ahead of a strategy day by Jenkins, on 12 February, when the full-year results will also be published.More information will be provided next week but the bank had decided to announce the provisions after an analysis of the exercise conducted by the Financial Services Authority into interest rate swaps mis-selling. Those swaps were marketed as a way of protecting small firms from interest rate changes, but some business owners say they have been left with six-figure bills after buying the complex derivatives.On PPI, the bank said £1.6bn of its £2.6bn provision had been used, and that the extra £600m had been set aside "based on claims experience to date and anticipated future volumes".The setback is the latest in a series for the bank, which in June paid £290m in fines for Libor-rigging. The scandal led to the departure of the chairman, Marcus Agius, the chief executive, Bob Diamond, and the chief operating officer, Jerry del Missier.On Sunday, the bank announced the departures of its finance director, Chris Lucas – who is under investigation over fundraising that helped the bank avoid a taxpayer bailout – and the legal counsel Mark Harding. Lucas is retiring, and his departure is unconnected to the continuing FSA investigation into disclosures of "commercial arrangements" with investors, including some in Qatar, in two fundraisings in 2008. The bank says it made all the necessary disclosures.Jenkins last week waived his bonus, of at least £1m, after the allegations.As part of an overhaul of the board, the new chairman, Sir David Walker, named Diane de Saint Victor as a nonexecutive director. She is head of legal and integrity for the Swiss power company ABB.The cost of the PPI scandal, in which customers were sold insurance to cover repayments if they fell ill or lost their jobs, continues to mount. It has already reached £12bn across the sector, with Lloyds Banking Group so far having the largest bill, of £5.3bn.Other banks may also need to raise their provisions. Sandy Chen, banks analyst at Cenkos, said: "We had noted last week that the financial ombudsman had received more complaints in the fourth quarter of 2012 than in any single year between 2000 and 2010, with 80.5% of those complaints related to PPI."We also expect that the banks will continue to fight the claims, but this strategy could backfire if the regulator determines that customers haven't been treated fairly in the compensation process."BarclaysBankingPayment protection insuranceInsuranceSmall businessConsumer affairsJill Treanorguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

29 августа 2012, 23:01

SFO launches investigation into Barclays payments to Qatar

Barclays faces criminal investigation into payments made to Qatar Holding after bank sought emergency funding in 2008The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into payments made after Barclays tapped Middle Eastern investors for emergency funds in 2008.The inquiry – which relates to the disclosure of fees paid to the sovereign investor Qatar Holding – represents the latest blow to the bank, which has just lost its chief executive Bob Diamond and chairman Marcus Agius after being fined £290m by US and UK regulators for its role in the Libor fixing scandal.In a statement issued after the stock market had closed last night, the bank said: "Barclays confirms that the Serious Fraud Office has commenced an investigation into payments under certain commercial agreements between Barclays and Qatar Holding LLC". It declined to add further comment.News of the formal SFO investigation comes after Barclays confirmed in July that the Financial Services Authority had begun a separate probe into Barclays on the same topic, when the bank admitted its finance director Chris Lucas was one of four current and past employees being scrutinised over the fundraising. The bank said at the time that it had satisfied its disclosure obligations and that it will co-operate fully with the FSA.The investigation by the FSA – which does not have any powers to investigate alleged crimes apart from insider dealing and share scams – will now run alongside that of the SFO, which is understood to involve a broad look at the company's conduct with the Qataris. A source close to the inquiry said: "The SFO is looking into the role of the company [Barclays]. I wouldn't discount anything".The SFO has already received information from the FSA and it is understood to have requested further documents from the bank. Both the SFO and the FSA declined to comment.In June 2008, Barclays raised £4.5bn through an issue of new shares and in November 2008 it raised more than £7bn. Much of the focus appears to be on information provided in the June 2008 fundraising that describes "an agreement for provision of advisory services" by Qatar to Barclays in the Middle East.The June fundraising outlined an agreement "to explore opportunities for a co-operative business relationship" with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation of Japan. The fees disclosed for this fundraising totalled around £100m.In the November 2008 fundraising, Barclays provided five separate disclosures of fees that amounted in total to around £300m.Qatar Holding is a unit of the Qatar Investment Authority, which is the largest shareholder in Barclays with a 6.65% stake, according to data compiled by Reuters.While the investigation into the fees does not involve other banks, Barclays was far from being alone in the Libor scandal. Last month, Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester warned that his bank faced a huge fine for its role.BarclaysBankingSerious Fraud OfficeQatarLiborBob DiamondFinancial Services Authority (FSA)RegulatorsFinancial sectorSimon Goodleyguardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

09 августа 2012, 03:40

Barclays investigation details given to Serious Fraud Office

Inquiry looking into fees allegedly paid by bank during banking crisis to avoid a taxpayer bailout The Financial Services Authority has handed information to the Serious Fraud Office about an ongoing investigation to funds raised by Barclays in 2008.The SFO has not decided whether to launch its own formal investigation into fees paid by Barclays during the banking crisis which helped the bank avoid a taxpayer bailout, according to the Independent.The existence of the FSA investigation was disclosed by Barclays last month when it admitted its finance director Chris Lucas was one of four current and past employees being scrutinised over the fundraising.Last month, as it announced a £759m in pre-tax profits, the bank appeared to suggest that the FSA was investigating whether all the fees had been disclosed in two fundraisings that took place in June and November 2008.At the time, Barclays sources insisted that it did not involve payments to any current or former staff.Barclays would not comment on Wednesday and neither would the SFO, but the FSA said: "Both the FSA and Barclays have already confirmed there is a formal investigation under way with regards to disclosure of fees relating to the capital raising exercises as set out in their interim results. Clearly we discuss a range of issues with the SFO on a regular basis and we cannot comment specifically on what they may or may not be investigating – that is a matter for the SFO."Statements made by Barclays last month spelt out the FSA had "commenced an investigation involving Barclays and four current and former senior employees, including Chris Lucas".The bank added: "The FSA is investigating the sufficiency of disclosure in relation to fees payable under certain commercial agreements and whether these may have related to Barclays capital raisings in June and November 2008."Barclays said in July that it considers that it satisfied its disclosure obligations and confirmed that it will co-operate fully with the FSA's investigation.In June 2008 the bank raised £4.5bn through an issue of new shares and in November 2008 it raised more than £7bn. Much of the focus appears to be information provided in the June 2008 fundraising which describes "an agreement for provision of advisory services" by Qatar to Barclays in the Middle East.The June fundraising outlined an agreement "to explore opportunities for a co-operative business relationship" with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation of Japan. The total fees disclosed for this fund raising was around £100m.In the separate November 2008 fundraising, it provided five separate disclosures of fees that amounted in total to around £300m.The FSA routinely hands information to the SFO when it is conducting investigations. For instance, the City regulator has been providing information to the SFO about the Libor rigging scandal which is now being used as the basis for an investigation by the fraud agency into attempts to manipulate interest rates.Barclays was fined a record £290m for attempting to manipulate Libor although the FSA has made clear eight other financial institutions are also being investigated. The SFO said on 30 July that its Libor investigation covered a number of financial institutions.BarclaysFinancial crisisEconomicsBankingFinancial sectorJill Treanorguardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds