Currencies

Dollar rises as markets turn eyes to Opec

European bourses are mirroring a tentative Asia session as the dollar continues to be supported by better US economic data and investors turn their attention to a meeting between Opec members. Sentiment is underpinned by US index futures suggesting the S&P 500 will gain 3 points to 2,207.3 when trading gets under way later in […]

Continue Reading

Banks

Basel Committe fail to sign off on latest bank reform measures

Banking regulators have failed to sign off the latest package of global industry reforms, leaving a question mark hanging over bankers who complain they have faced endlessly evolving regulation since the financial crisis. Policymakers had hoped to agree the contentious new measures at a crunch meeting held in Chile this week, but a senior official […]

Continue Reading

Banks, Financial

Banking app targets millennials who want help budgeting

Graduate debt, rent and high living costs have made it hard for millennials to save for a house, a pension or even a holiday. For Ollie Purdue, a 23-year-old law graduate, this was reason enough to launch Loot, a banking app targeted at tech-dependent 20-somethings who want help to manage their money and avoid falling […]

Continue Reading

Economy

Eurozone inflation climbs to highest since April 2014

A welcome dose of good news before next week’s big European Central Bank meeting. Year on year inflation in the eurozone has climbed to its best rate since April 2014 this month, accelerating to 0.6 per cent from 0.5 per cent on the back of the rising cost of services and the fading effect of […]

Continue Reading

Financial

Wealth manager Brewin Dolphin hit by restructuring costs

Profits at wealth manager Brewin Dolphin were hit by restructuring costs as the company continued to shift its focus towards portfolio management. The FTSE 250 company reported pre-tax profits of £50.1m in the year to September 30, down 17.9 per cent from £61m the previous year. Finance director Andrew Westenberger said its 2015 figure was […]

Continue Reading

Categorized | Banks, Financial

Barclays executive dismissed after SFO interview, tribunal hears


Posted on November 23, 2016

Barclays dismissed one of its top executives as a “direct result” of what it found out he told investigators who have a criminal probe open against the bank, a tribunal has heard.

Richard Boath, who until this year was Barclays’ chairman of financial services, will argue in an unfair dismissal hearing against the ban‎k that he was sacked following investigators at the UK’s Serious Fraud Office passing Barclays a transcript of his interview with them, his lawyer told a London tribunal in a hearing on Wednesday.

The SFO investigation, which started four years ago, is examining Barclays’ £7.3bn emergency cash call at the height of the financial crisis, when it turned to investors in Qatar and Abu Dhabi to help it stay out of UK government control.

The agency confirmed on Wednesday that Mr Boath is a suspect in that probe and has had an interview under caution — which is when suspects are read their rights.

The SFO and the bank are attempting to keep Mr Boath’s unfair dismissal claim against the bank private. They both argue that a public hearing of parts of Mr Boath’s testimony — which will touch on what he told the SFO — could contaminate evidence from others at a key moment of the probe.‎

Several media outlets, including the Financial Times, are fighting the attempt.‎ Mr Boath’s barrister said a hearing in private would be a “travesty” that would lead to millions of members of the public being “disenfranchised from public justice”.

Mr Boath is suing for lost pay and has a claim under whistleblower laws — meaning any potential tribunal award is uncapped. Barclays denies that he has a proper whistleblower claim, its barrister, Richard Lissack QC told the tribunal.

In 2008, Mr Boath was Barclays’ head of financial services, meaning he oversaw any raising of funds on the bank’s own account.

“Mr Boath makes particularly serious allegations,” his barrister, Jonathan Cohen QC, told the tribunal. “He says that what’s happened to him is a direct result of the SFO giving his transcript to Barclays. He will say: ‘The reason I find myself out on my ear by the bank is because the SFO did that.’”

Mr Boath has been interviewed by the SFO along with other former top brass at the bank, including the former chief executives John Varley and Bob Diamond, and its former finance director, Chris Lucas, as part of the investigation.

The SFO is looking at the arrangements the bank had with Qatar both during the October fundraising and one four months earlier. One line of the inquiry is whether a $3bn loan to Qatar’s ministry of finance in late 2008 had the effect of the bank covertly lending Qatar money to reinvest in the bank, the FT has previously reported.

The SFO wants Mr Boath’s hearing to be held in private to “preserve the confidentiality of” its interview with Mr Boath. As an alternative, it has asked that Mr Boath and Barclays should be banned from referring to the contents of the interview during the proceedings.

Barclays has deployed a squadron of top lawyers including Mr Lissack, while the trio of lawyers representing the SFO includes Edward Brown QC.

The start of the employment tribunal trial has been delayed a number of times. The delay, combined with Barclays’ support for the hearing to be in private, raises questions over whether Barclays is seeking to keep a lid on Mr Boath’s claim until after the SFO has reached a charging decision in its probe. The SFO has said it expects to make a charging decision by March 2017.