Amanda Staveley loses High Court battle against Barclays
Amanda Staveley lost her High Court case against Barclays, despite the judge’s ruling that the bank was “guilty of gross deception” against her investment firm, PCP Capital Partners, during a 2008 fundraiser.
PCP had brought a civil action against Barclays, alleging deception over its raising of capital from Qatar, which was heard last year.
During the 2008 banking crisis, PCP was involved in failed efforts to form a consortium to invest in Barclays with the Royal Sheikh of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mansour. The PCP sued Barclays in the High Court after discovering that Abu Dhabi was not getting the same deal as Qatar, which also invested billions of pounds in the bank.
In rendering his ruling on the case, Judge David Waksman said Barclays made false statements to PCP, but added that the company’s overall lawsuit failed because he could not prove he would have obtained the debt financing needed to close a deal.
The judge said: “I can understand why this result will be a serious disappointment for PCP, especially after finding Barclays guilty of gross deception against him.”
In his ruling, Waksman described Staveley as a “tough, intelligent and creative entrepreneur” whose evidence was mostly “reliable”. He said he rejected the bank’s attempts to portray her as a light-hearted “chancellor” who had engaged in a “turmoil” over raising capital.
PCP had claimed that Barclays assured Staveley they were getting the same deal as Qatar, but later found out that the Qataris had received additional fees.
Waksman criticized Roger Jenkins, the former Barclays chief for the Middle East, who led Barclays’ negotiations with the PCP, describing him as a “risk-taker” who was “prepared to be dishonest” and he ruled that parts of his evidence were unsatisfactory and implausible ”.
“In my opinion, Mr. Jenkins was fully aware that PCP was not getting the same deal in the required sense,” Waksman said.
He also criticized John Varley, a former Barclays chief executive, who had sought to play down his involvement in approving a $ 3 billion loan to Qatar. “In my opinion, Mr. Varley’s testimony on this point was misleading and an attempt to distance himself from the loan,” he said.
The case raises new questions about Barclays’ behavior in 2008, when the bank relied on money from Middle Eastern investors to back it up – rather than asking for a bailout from the UK government. Barclays still faces a Financial Conduct Authority investigation (FCA), the financial regulator, which has previously signaled it will fine the lender of £ 50million for its conduct.
Barclays escaped criminal charges over the Serious Fraud Office’s fundraising in Qatar in 2018 when the criminal appeals court dismissed the charges against her. Varley was cleared by the Court of Appeals in 2019 and Jenkins and two other former Barclays executives were cleared of wrongdoing in a criminal trial Last year.
Barclays said: “We welcome the court’s decision to dismiss PCP’s claim in its entirety and not award it any compensation. “
Staveley is considering recourse. “The judgment confirms what I have said from the beginning and repeated in my testimony; a senior Barclays executive lied to me several times when seeking private investment in the bank during the 2008 financial crisis, ”she said.