Question to Barclays AGM – via Joel Benjamin – Debt Resistance UK:
In my pocket, I have a whistle….. Jes [Staley CEO], I’m not going to blow the whistle – I hear you don’t take kindly, to whistleblowers within your ranks.
Having met former Barclays whistleblower Rob Carver – who exposed Barclays role in selling LOBO loans to hundreds of UK town councils – I’m acutely aware of the vital public interest role whistleblowers play.
Without whistleblowers, we wouldn’t know Barclays paid oversized commissions to brokers ICAP and Tullet Prebon on LOBO Loans, totalling more than £300million at Kent County Council alone, £6bn nationally.
Without whistleblowers, Barclays commissions to brokers, split over multiple days to avoid internal red flags, would be secret. We wouldn’t know, banks made £2bn upfront trading profits on LOBOs, from councils struggling under austerity.
A decade on we still don’t know, (publicly), what the Barclays loans were actually for?
The FT report the ‘carry trade’ for councils over the past few years is commercial property. In the noughties, it was Icelandic bank deposits.
How did it work? Councils encouraged by Butlers, ICAP and Barclays, borrowed big on teaser rate LOBO loans, then invested those funds in short term Iceland bank deposits, rolled over every 3 months, earning 7% return, on 3-4% money.
The 4% spread was banked by councils as profit. Yes, councils made money, but the real benefactors were the banks that peddled the loans, and the brokers like ICAP who advised councils to take big bets on Iceland – skimming fees off the loans, and the subsequent cash deposits.
If it sounds a bit like a ponzi-scheme, that’s precisely what it was. Kent County Council, advised by ICAP, borrowed £300m from Barclays & lost £50m when Icelandic banks collapsed in October 2008. ICAP, made millions.
When it came to inflating the bubble, Barclays loans were the foot pump, council bank deposits, the pressurised air, and Iceland’s economy the balloon & on 06 October 2008 that balloon went pop.
Around this time, Barclays problems involving LIBOR rigging and the Bank of England, really got going…
On Panorama, The Big Bank Fix – shady LIBOR dealings involving Barclays & the BOE were recently exposed. Chief amongst the schemes, was the Ricardo Master Fund, a secret Cayman Island linked hedge fund, run by Mark Dearlove out of Singapore, with the full knowledge and support of Mr Diamond who hired him, along with Mr Ricci and Mr Del Missier, who rounded out the RMF board.
Particulars of case in Holgate v Barclays show the RMF was structured to profit from lowballing of Sterling libor, manipulation Barclays previously denied.
So if the Ricardo Master Fund represents a criminal, Barclays conspiracy, to trade upon market sensitive inside information, why was the existence of the RMF covered up by Barclays & never declared to the FSA, SFO or CFTC? Who authorised the coverup? Did you expect Cayman Island secrecy to save you?
How is it that Peter Johnson, the Barclays banker who took the instruction to manipulate LIBOR, from the head of markets Asia, is now in jail, while Mark Dearlove, the man who gave the instruction AND ran a secret fund to profit from LIBOR lowballing, pocketing millions from LIBOR fraud, not only walks free, but still enjoys a role near the very top of your bank..?
Can the board please confirm to shareholders, that none of your contemporaries personal profited from the ‘Ricardo Master Fund’ which was set up to profit as LIBOR was manipulated lower?