Wednesday 23 March 2016 7:38 pm

Barclays sued by Syrian billionaire Wafic Saïd over blacklisting after 40 year relationship

Billy Bambrough is City A.M.'s deputy news editor.

Billy Bambrough is City A.M.'s deputy news editor.

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​Barclays is being sued by one of its oldest and richest customers, Syrian-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist Wafic Saïd after the bank cut ties with him after a 40 year relationship. 

Saïd, a 76-year-old Monaco resident and Conservative-party donor, today instructed his lawyers to file proceedings at the High Court in London according to a statement released by public relations firm Bell Pottinger.

Saïd, who is worth around £1.5bn, claims not to know why the bank has ended their relationship and is attempted to force the bank to disclose its reasons for doing so under the Data Protection Act.

The statement read: 

Mr Saïd said he was not prepared to be treated in this cavalier manner by a bank he had worked with for more than forty years.

It was revealed last week, first reported by The Times newspaper, that Barclays had given Saïd three months to find a different bank. The blacklisting also applies to his family and charitable foundation.

Said then accused Barclays of using him as a scapegoat to improve its own reputation.

Banks around the world have been going through a process of so-called de-risking, as the US and European regulators increasingly crack down on money laundering, though there have been concerns raised that legitimate business are being cut of as a result. 

A Barclays spokesman said: “We would never comment on ongoing litigation or individual customers.”