Barclays Is Pressed to Ditch Bid for ABN; Called to Account: Critics Suggest That Barclays' Use of the Bank of England's Emergency Borrowing Facility Twice in the Past Few Weeks Suggests Management under John Varley Has Taken Its Eye off the Ball

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Byline: NICK GOODWAY

BARCLAYS is coming under pressure from some of its own shareholders toabandon its takeover bid for ABN Amro and collect the e200 million ([pounds sterling]134million) break fee it was promised before the rival bid from a consortium ledby Royal Bank of Scotland appeared.

Investors in Barclays will be asked to approve its e59 billion bid at a meetinga week today. But with its mainly share-based bid now so far behind the e 71.1billion mainly cash offer that has been made by RBS, Santander and Fortis, someBarclays shareholders believe the battle is all but lost, and the bank shouldmove on.

In particular, Barclays' need to use the Bank of England emergency overnightborrowing facility twice in the past few weeks has raised questions overwhether the management, led by chief executive John Varley, has taken it eyeoff the ball.

There are also concerns over Barclays Capital, the powerhouse of growth run byBob Diamond, which has been involved in setting up several StructuredInvestment Vehicles..

These are seen as the most vulnerable type of funds in the current creditsqueeze. …