Fraud squad to ask for Barclays tribunal to take place behind closed doors

 
Hayley Kirton
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The SFO launched its investigation in 2012 (Source: Getty)

The fraud squad will tomorrow ask for an employment tribunal for an ex-Barclays exec to take place in private, on the grounds it could compromise its ongoing investigation into the bank.

Since 2012, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is currently investigating Barclays' handling of an emergency funding exercise back in 2008. As part of that, the fraud squad carried out interviews with a number of key staff members, including Richard Boath.

Boath, who was once the chairman of Barclays' financial institutions in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, is now bringing his former employer to tribunal, claiming that he was unfairly dismissed and has also been reported to be bringing the case under the whistleblower protection rule.

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The SFO will request tomorrow morning that either the hearing takes place in private, and corresponding reporting restrictions are put in place, or that the contents of the interview between Boath and the fraud squad are not referred to during the course of the tribunal.

A number of news outlets, including the Guardian, have said they will be challenging the SFO's request to put reporting restrictions in place.

Barclays has declined to comment.

Read more: Barclays profits rise but PPI rears its ugly head again

Many questions have been asked about how Barclays secured valuable funding from Qatar Holdings at the height of the financial crisis – without which, the bank may have needed to be bailed out by government, similar to Lloyds and RBS.

Other Barclays top dogs to be questioned by the SFO during the course of its investigation include former chief executives Robert Diamond and John Varley.

The deal has also sparked a civil suit from Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners, claiming the firm was a potential investor, not just an adviser, when it invested in shares on behalf of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and therefore could have benefited from the capital raising.

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