FORMER Barclays chief executive John Varley today sought to hurt the credibility of Amanda Staveley in her £1.5 billion court battle with the bank.
The financier, also trying to secure a deal to take over Newcastle United, thinks she was locked out of a 2008 deal with Qatar that secured Barclays’ finances at a time of great turmoil.
The bank says she was a mere introducer. Staveley says her PCP syndicate was an investor and should have benefited from the deal.
Today in a court statement Varley, chief executive between 2004 and 2010, said Barclays was seeking investors with “deep pockets”, “instant credibility and name recognition” who were “acceptable to the FSA”.
PCP “would not have fulfilled the criteria”, he said.
Barclays and Varley had meetings with the FSA — the Financial Services Authority, now the Financial Conduct Authority — to discuss its fundraiser.
Varley said: “At no time did I approach or could I credibly have the FSA to seek its consent to PCP…becoming a source, by investment, of the continuing independence of a systemically important bank.”
Mr Justice Waksman began overseeing the trial two weeks ago. It is likely to last two months.
Barclays’ lawyers said earlier that Staveley, a sometime girlfriend of Prince Andrew, had tried to “insert” herself into a deal in a “hustle”.
Last week, the Press Association reported, Staveley burst into tears at this claim.
An earlier fraud trial into the £4 billion Qatar investment cleared former Barclays bosses of wrongdoing.