Varley to speak of Lehman deal risks

JOHN Varley, chief executive of Barclays, is tomorrow expected to tell a New York court that the bank took a significant risk when it agreed to buy the US brokerage business of Lehman Brothers during the eye of the financial storm in 2008.

It was reported yesterday that he will admit to a US bankruptcy judge that Barclays was not entirely aware of what assets and liabilities it was taking on through the deal.

Varley is due to given evidence as part of a protracted case between Barclays and Lehman's creditors, the US bank's trustee and its estate. The three parties that have brought the action against Barclays claim it unfairly profited from the deal, which was one of the few positive takeovers during the crisis.