Barclays deal: Top UK bank lobbyist quits over 2008 remarks about financier Staveley

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A senior British bank lobbyist has resigned over comments he made in 2008 about businesswoman Amanda Staveley, who arranged billions of pounds of rescue financing for Barclays at the height of the credit crisis when Jones was at the bank.

Stephen Jones, expected to give evidence in a $2 billion London court battle between Staveley and Barclays next month, offered his resignation as chief executive of UK Finance and the board accepted, according to a statement on Tuesday.

Read more: Top Barclays banker’s wife may have secured $4 bln deal through wife of Qatar PM

"Stephen has rightly acknowledged that the comments he made in 2008 were inappropriate and do not meet the standards expected of leaders in our industry," said UK Finance's chairman, Bob Wigley.

Jones, who was Barclays' head of investor relations in 2008, told UK Finance staff last week that he could not defend his remarks, which have been mentioned in a civil lawsuit against Barclays by Staveley's PCP Capital private equity group.

"The comments I made ... are wholly inappropriate and do not meet the standards of language and behavior we rightly expect," he told staff in a memo seen by Reuters.

He has separately apologized to Staveley, who was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

PCP's written opening statement to the court mentions "thoroughly unpleasant comments" by Jones to a colleague about Staveley in 2008 and refers to other personal comments by senior Barclays staff of the time, criticizing her professional skill and competence.

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Transcripts of internal calls between Barclays executives could be read aloud in the case, which hinges on the terms Barclays offered Qatar and PCP Capital's syndicate -- which included Gulf investors -- for taking part in a 7.3 billion pound ($9.2 billion) cash call in October 2008.

PCP Capital is claiming up to 1.5 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) in damages for deceit, alleging that Barclays reneged on representations that PCP’s consortium would get the same terms as Qatar.

Barclays has dismissed the case as misconceived and without merit.

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