Staff have been recalled from Kuwait Investment Authority’s (KIA) London office amid reports of accounting irregularities and claims that employees deliberately made bad investments, according to The Times newspaper in the UK. The newspaper reports that a committee of MPs in Kuwait has discovered evidence that staff in the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO, the UK division of the KIA), made “huge, deliberate, bad investments”.
According to the local Arabic newspaper, Al Jarida, the Kuwaiti MP leading the investigation said that ten staff had been removed from the London office and are back in Kuwait, where they will face questioning about differences between their statements and those of the Kuwaiti finance ministry.
Victoria Barbary, director of the Institutional Investor’s Sovereign Wealth Centre, in London, told The Times that reports from Kuwait indicated that the “irregularities” were mostly related to complaints that fund managers were not reporting figures on time. “I would be surprised, however, if the Kuwaiti authorities decided to shut down all KIA’s operations in London. The KIO plays an important role in the portfolio,” she said.