The Daily Telegraphs editorial judgment over the HSBC scandal was called into question this week by Peter Oborne, who accused the paper of a “fraud on its readers” in his resignation statement.
Telegraph reporters were allegedly discouraged from running articles critical of HSBC. It has now transpired that the Telegraph owners, Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, secured a £250 laon from HSBC as the Guardian revels:
“The owners of the Daily Telegraph secured a £250m loan from HSBC for a struggling corner of their business empire shortly before the newspaper’s reporters were allegedly “discouraged” from running articles critical of the bank, the Guardian has learned.
The timing of the loan deal for Yodel, a loss-making parcel delivery firm owned by the Barclay brothers, raises fresh questions over the influence of commercial considerations on the Telegraph’s editorial coverage of HSBC.
The deal was completed on 14 December 2012, company documents show. The paper’s former chief political commentator Peter Oborne alleged this week that there was a sea change in its editorial treatment of the bank from early 2013.
The documents show that Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay had to formally give a personal financial guarantee as additional security for the loan facility.”
The Barclay family declined to comment on the loan when contacted by the Guardian, though a source close to the family dismissed suggestions that the Telegraph’s coverage could have been influenced by the HSBC loan, pointing out that the family’s businesses also had borrowings with many other banks.