Today Barclays has been hit with another scandal which has been bubbling along in the background for some time, but with a new chief executive also arriving, do the bank's shares look attractive?
Barclays - already reeling from the LIBOR scandal which hammered its shares recently - today confirmed the SFO, picking up on an FSA investigation, is looking into payments linked to various Middle East investors which backed the bank during the 2008 credit crisis.
Rather than seek help from the government, Barclays shored up its own balance sheet four years ago by striking a deal with Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, as well as other backers.
However, last month Barclays revealed four of its current and former managers, including Chris Lucas, the bank's finance director, were being investigated by the FSA over payments linked to Qatar's investment of more than £2bn.
Is Barclays and its 'murky past' a buy at these levels?
Now it appears the FSA has handed details of its investigation to the SFO, creating yet another hurdle for the bank - and its somewhat beleaguered shares - to climb.
On the plus side, today also saw the bank take a significant step to separate itself from recent scandals, with the appointment of its retail banking chief Antony Jenkins to the role of chief executive.
Shore Capital, which has the bank as a 'hold', said now is not the time to be shorting the bank, despite the headwinds it faces, but it has retained its hold stance.
Gary Greenwood, author of the group's broker note released this morning, warned the bank may face a fine if found guilty by the SFO.
"The timeframe for the SFO investigation is unclear, but if found guilty it is possible that the group could be subject to financial penalties, in our view," he said.
"This further highlights Barclays' somewhat murky past under the previous leadership and the need for the new management team to come in and clean up the company's culture, processes and image."
However, he praised its move to hire Jenkins. He said: "While we would have preferred to have seen an external appointment to the role of CEO, we think this is probably the best internal appointment the company could have made. We particularly like the fact that Mr Jenkins has a retail banking background and is not of investment banking stock."
Despite the obvious headwinds facing the bank, Shore Capital notes that given the current valuation - shares are at 184p, around 30% lower than their peak earlier this year of 256.8p - the bank still looks attractive.
"We view these multiples as undemanding and continue to encourage investors with short or underweight positions to use recent share price weakness in the aftermath of the LIBOR scandal to move to a more neutral stance," Greenwood said.
However, investors may be cautious of snapping up more shares at this level, with more stiff regulation of all banks still on the cards, and fears remaining over the economy.
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