Bloomberg reports that U.K. fraud prosecutors may open a criminal probe as soon as this week into payments Barclays made in 2008 to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund as the bank sought to raise money, according to two people familiar with the case.
The Serious Fraud Office, which prosecutes bribery and white collar crime, may inform the London-based bank about its decision on a probe this week, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the discussions are private. Prosecutors are working with the U.K. Financial Services Authority, Britain’s finance regulator, which is conducting a civil investigation into whether the bank adequately disclosed fees it agreed to pay the Qatar Investment Authority.
The investigation would be another legal pitfall for the bank, after it paid U.S. and U.K. authorities a record $459m in June for manipulating the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, and related interest benchmarks. Regulators and prosecutors are still investigating former Barclays employees in the Libor case.
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image: © Lisamarie Babik