Evidence from a former vice-chairman of Barclays Capital was read to a London court today, revealing she was not aware of two services agreements the bank struck with Qatar in 2008.
Gay Huey Evans, who is currently deputy chairman of the Financial Reporting Council, said Barclays’ former executive chairman of investment banking Roger Jenkins was the “gatekeeper” for the bank’s relationship with Qatar.
“Roger Jenkins was the gatekeeper for Qatar,” she said, “anything that went to Qatar had to go through him.”
Jenkins is accused, alongside former chief executive John Varley and former senior bankers Richard Boath and Tom Kalaris, of covering up fees of £322m the bank paid to Qatar at the time of two 2008 emergency fundraisings in which Qatar participated.
Barclays and Qatar agreed two advisory services agreements during the period, with the bank agreeing to pay £322m to Qatar in exchange for help developing its business in the Middle East.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said the agreements were a “dishonest mechanism” to hide fees being paid to Qatar for its investment.
The four have denied all wrongdoing.
Huey Evans, who worked at the bank between 2008 and 2010, said business people would complain about the bank’s poor relationship with Qatar. “They’d moan” she said.
She said a lack of growth in the Qatar relationship was “frustrating for those that wanted to conduct business with them”.
Huey Evans said she was “not aware of any advisory services provided by Qatar apart from the introduction of Sheikh Mansour to the 2008 fundraising.”
Manchester City-owner Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi participated in the bank’s second 2008 fundraising.
Former Barclays managing director Glenn Leighton, who appeared as a witness today, said he pushed for language about the services agreement to be tightened up in an internal memo to be used as a briefing document on the June fundraising.
Leighton said he was aware of the first services agreement, which he had been told was not a “material contract”, meaning it did not need to be disclosed to the stock market.
In an email to his boss Boath, Leighton wrote: “The wording on the Quail [a codename for Qatar] agreement seems vague.”
“Can we describe the Quail advisory relationship more tightly?” He wrote
When asked by the SFO’s barrister why he pushed for these changes he said: “The wording in the previous draft was quite woolly.”
He said there was “no use in having woolly, floppy language to describe something that is quite straightforward.”
The case continues.