Barclays accused Amanda Staveley of “simply inventing” part of her evidence as the businesswoman was cross-examined for a fourth day in a High Court trial.
Ms Staveley is testifying in a civil lawsuit she brought against Barclays for alleged deceit over the terms of an investment by Qatar in October 2008 that helped the bank escape a government bailout. Barclays denies wrongdoing.
On Tuesday, Ms Staveley, who was leading a parallel investment by Abu Dhabi, told the High Court in London of a crucial 6.15am fundraising meeting on October 31 2008 at Barclays’ Canary Wharf headquarters, where the bank’s former chief executive John Varley spoke briefly by telephone to Sheikh Mansour as the Abu Dhabi royal was about to board a helicopter in the Kazakh desert.
Ms Staveley told the High Court that after the meeting ended she was reassured by Roger Jenkins, then Barclays’ chairman of Middle East banking, that Qatar and Abu Dhabi were receiving the same deal despite the last-minute disclosure of a £66m fee being paid to Qatar.
“Mr Jenkins reassured me that it was a fee from June [an earlier Barclays fundraising] and they hadn’t paid it. Qatar was kicking up a fuss,” Ms Staveley testified in a series of fiery exchanges on Tuesday with Jeffery Onions QC, Barclays’ barrister.
Mr Onions told her: “You have completely invented this story.” Ms Staveley replied: “I’m absolutely furious that you have said that. I was shocked and concerned.” Mr Onions later added: “Mr Jenkins said none of this. You are simply inventing it.”
Barclays claims the £66m fee was paid because Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad had introduced Sheikh Mansour to the 2008 Barclays capital raising.
Ms Staveley was also asked about a phone call between herself and Mr Jenkins on October 29 2008 as pressure from Barclays mounted on her firm, PCP, to finalise its investor consortium.
She testified that the call “started off being friendly” but Mr Jenkins was “cross” and his tone became “quite menacing and it upset me”. She told the High Court: “I remember the call well and I called my father afterwards in tears. The pressure was incredible. but we could only go as fast as we could go.”
Ms Staveley has been cross-examined in forensic detail about the events of late 2008 by Barclays’ barrister, who has accused her of inconsistencies in her witness statement — including giving incorrect dates for meetings and omitting that PCP was considering buying a stake in News Corp. The case continues.
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