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Barclays sued for €279m in Dutch derivatives suit

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Friday 24 Sep 2021

Barclays sued for €279m in Dutch derivatives suit

(Sharecast News) - Britain's Barclays Bank has been sued for €279m ($239m) for its alleged involvement in a derivatives investment that almost put a Dutch affordable-housing provider out of business, it was reported on Friday.

Stichting Vestia came close to collapse in 2012, after racking up more than €2bn in losses after derivatives that were supposed to be part of a hedging strategy were found to be flawed because of bribes.

It previously sued a number of banks, including Deutsche Bank, over the issue and in July turned its efforts to Barclays when it filed a separate suit against the British lender.

The bank is accused of paying commissions on derivative transactions with Vestia between 2008 and 2011 to an intermediary that totalled more than €1.5m, Bloomberg reported, citing documents filed by Vestia last month at the UK High Court.

Vestia's treasurer at the time, who was accused of being bribed, received approximately half of all the commissions, lawyers for the housing firm said in the filings.

"Barclays has been enriched at Vestia's expense as a result of these transactions," the lawyers said. "Vestia is entitled to recover in restitution the amount by which Barclays has been enriched by such void transactions."

The housing provider alleged that Barclays "failed to make such inquiries as a reasonable person would make" into the transactions.

Barclays declined to comment on the suit, the report added.

Vestia's trial against Deutsche Bank, which eventually settled for €175m, shed light on how the German lender entertained its clients. Tales of outings to Michelin-starred restaurants and exclusive London nightclubs, where bottles of Dom Perignon champagne were free flowing, formed part of Vestia's case.

"It is Vestia's policy to recover the damage caused by the derivatives debacle from those who caused the damage directly or indirectly," Vestia said in a statement.

It has also agreed settlements with Citigroup and ABN Amro Bank and its cases against BNP Paribas and Societe Generale in London are ongoing, it said.


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