By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Barclays Plc (L:BARC) is not liable to investors who bought its U.S.-listed stock a few months before the 2008 financial crisis and accused the British bank of hiding its risky debt exposure and a capital shortfall, a U.S. court ruled on Monday.
In a 3-0 decision, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld the dismissal of claims against Barclays and underwriters led by Citigroup Inc (N:C) over the British bank’s April 2008 sale of $2.5 billion of American depositary shares. Barclays’ share price had fallen 80 percent by the following March.
The 9-1/2-year-old case is among the last ones accusing big banks of having inflated their share prices by hiding or failing to fix soured credits on their balance sheets before the crisis.
Barclays was accused of concealing 21.6 billion pounds (then about US$42 billion) of mortgage-backed securities and other risky assets insured by monoline insurers, and a March 2008 “directive” by the U.K. Financial Services Authority requiring it to raise more equity capital.