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Barclays faces SFO investigation over Qatar payments

  • Britain's fraud prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into payments between Barclays and Qatar Holding, adding to an ongoing regulatory probe into dealings between the two parties.

    On Wednesday, Barclays said the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had begun an investigation into "payments under certain commercial agreements" between it and Qatar.

    The Financial Services Authority (FSA), Britain's financial watchdog, is already looking into the bank and four current and former senior employees, on whether adequate disclosures were made over the fees it paid in a 2008 capital raising.

    The SFO probe differs as it is investigating the bank, rather than the bank and the four individuals.

    Barclays has not indicated which payments between it and Qatar were being investigated by the SFO, although the FSA is expected to share information with the SFO.

    The probe comes after Barclays was fined $450 million in June by British and U.S. regulators for rigging Libor interest rates.