US authorities open fresh investigations into Barclays' financial probity

Barclays, already in the dock over an Libor scandal, announced two new US regulatory investigations into the bank's financial probity today and said its profit was hit by charges for mis-selling insurance.

With investigations in the UK over its dealings with Qatari investors ongoing, Barclays said the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission were investigating whether its relationships with third parties who help it win or retain business were compliant with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Britain's financial regulator and fraud prosecutor is currently investigating its payments payments to Qatari investors after it raised billions of pounds from the Gulf state five years ago to avoid a taxpayer bailout.

The bank and four current and senior employees, including fianance director Chris Lucas are under investigation to determine whether the lender made adequate disclosure of the fees it paid in a 2008 capital raising.

The disclosure of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) investigation came when it released half-year results in July. The investigation relates to fees paid to the Qatar Investment Authority on deals in June and November 2008, when Barclays raised 11.5 billion pounds ($18.5 billion).

The lender further said that the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) was investigating whether it manipulated power prices in the western US from late 2006 until 2008.