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Barclays is fined record £72m over crime check lapse

By Holly Williams

Barclays has been hit with a record £72m fine after City regulators found it cut corners to rush through financial crime checks for a £1.88bn "elephant deal" on behalf of ultra-rich clients.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Barclays failed to carry out the proper checks for the transaction to secure £52.3m in fees so it did not "inconvenience" the clients - said to be prominent people in public life.

In an explosive report, the FCA's findings claimed that the bank went to "unacceptable lengths to accommodate the clients" and failed to ask for key information as it "did not wish to inconvenience" them.

Barclays even bought a safe to store hard copies relating to the deal to keep it under wraps, even within the bank.

And it also agreed to a clause that would see it pay £37.7m to the clients if their confidentiality was broken.

The deal was the biggest of its kind ever handled by the bank - known within Barclays as an "elephant deal" due to its size. The FCA stressed that the deal did not involve any financial crime.

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