* UK probes whether bank lent Qatar money to buy shares- FT
* Barclays declines comment on ongoing investigations
* Barclays pay under scrutiny after rate rigging scandal
By Steve Slater and Matt Scuffham
LONDON, Feb 1 Barclays Chief Executive
Antony Jenkins has opted not to take a bonus for 2012, saying he
should "bear an appropriate degree of accountability" for the
difficult year the British bank endured.
Jenkins is trying to restore Barclays' reputation since the
revelation of its role in a global interest rate rigging scandal
led to a $450 million fine and the departure of his predecessor
Those efforts are unlikely to be a straight road.
The Financial Times reported on Friday that British
authorities are looking into an allegation that Barclays lent
Qatar money to invest in it as part of a rescue fundraising at
the height of the 2008 financial crisis.
UK rules forbid a public company from giving financial
assistance in order to acquire its shares or those of a parent
A Barclays spokeswoman said: "Both the FSA and SFO
investigations are ongoing and, as such, we are unable to
The FSA, SFO and Qatar Holding declined to comment.
Jenkins, who became CEO in August, said he did not want to
be considered for a bonus after a difficult year for the bank
and its stakeholders.
"I think it only right that I bear an appropriate degree of
accountability for those matters," he said in a statement.
He said he was aware of considerable speculation about his
bonus and wanted to avoid "further unnecessary public debate".
His annual salary as CEO is 1.1 million pounds and he could have
received an annual bonus of up to 2.75 million.
The issue of pay at Barclays and other banks is set to flare
again next week when Jenkins, Barclays Chairman David Walker and
their counterparts at Lloyds and HSBC are quizzed on
pay by UK lawmakers.
RBS CEO Stephen Hester said last June he would waive his
bonus for 2012 following a computer systems failure which caused
disruption to millions of its customers.
Qatar Holding, which according to the FT is not accused of
any wrongdoing, invested 5.3 billion pounds ($8.4 billion) in
Barclays in June and October 2008, helping it avoid a government
bailout, unlike rivals Lloyds Banking Group and Royal
Bank of Scotland.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) and Serious Fraud
Office (SFO) have been looking into the investment since July.
Allegations of a loan to the Qataris are a new thread of the
investigation, the FT said, citing two sources familiar with the
The deal with Qatar was questioned from the outset.
Shareholders were angry it was offered more attractive terms
than existing investors. A sale of warrants in November left
Qatar sitting on a gain of 1.7 billion pounds from its
investment, according to Reuters estimates.
Qatar Holding, part of the Qatar Investment Authority, which
was set up by the state in 2005 to diversify its investments
away from oil and gas, is the bank's biggest shareholder with a
6.7 percent stake.
Barclays said in August that Britain's fraud prosecutors had
launched a criminal probe into payments between the bank and
Qatar, a month after revealing the FSA's investigation into
dealings between the two parties.
It said the FSA probe was into the bank and four current and
former senior employees, including finance director Chris Lucas.
Sources have said another is Roger Jenkins, the main architect
of the Qatar fundraising who left Barclays in early 2009 and is
now at Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual.
Neither Lucas nor Jenkins immediately responded to requests
Barclays said in July when it first disclosed the
investigation that it considered it had satisfied its disclosure