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U.S. Justice Department expands probe into Saudi bank licenses, says source

Dec 06 2012 Aruna Viswanatha, Reuters

A U.S. investigation into whether Barclays Plc paid bribes to win a banking license in Saudi Arabia has spread to other banks that operate in the region, according to a person familiar with the matter. Barclays disclosed in late October that the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission were investigating the British bank’s relationships with third parties who help it win or retain business, and whether such relationships violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Barclays did not name specific countries in its October disclosure, but in November, responding to a newspaper report, the bank said it did not make any illegal payment to get a Saudi license. In addition to Barclays, U.S. investigators have begun reaching out to several other banks that have licenses in Saudi Arabia, said the person familiar with the matter, who was not authorized to speak publicly about investigations. It is unclear which banks the Justice Department has reached out to

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