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Barclays seeks US$9 bil. from shareholders

LONDON--Barclays is raising 5.8 billion pounds (US$8.9 billion) from its shareholders to help plug a larger-than-expected capital shortfall identified by Britain's financial regulator at the 320-year-old bank.

The Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) said on Tuesday Barclays needed an extra 12.8 billion pounds to strengthen its capital reserves against potential market shocks, more than an estimate of about 7 billion a month ago, due mainly to tougher European rules on the way banks measure risks.

It gave the bank a year to fill the gap, requiring it to speed up a plan to rebuild capital and turn to shareholders.

Barclays, Britain's third biggest bank and the sixth largest in Europe, announced the fundraising alongside another 2-billion-pound charge for mis-selling products and said it was also pushing back a key profitability target.

Banks across Europe are battling to meet tougher regulations aimed at preventing a repeat of the financial crisis, and many are struggling to move on from past misdeeds. Deutsche Bank, for example, missed second-quarter profit forecasts on Tuesday, hit by higher legal costs.

Barclays also continues to be haunted by a fundraising with Qatari investors in 2008, which is being investigated by British and U.S. authorities. The bank said Britain's Financial Conduct Authority made preliminary findings against it on June 27 related to some of the deal's commercial agreements, and that it responded last week by contesting the findings.

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