The Saïd Foundation, the charity which has supported the Saïd Business School, has been blacklisted by Barclays Bank and has been barred from becoming a future client, along with its founding benefactor Wafic Saïd.
The Business School’s website explains that “Mr Saïd, through the Saïd Business School Foundation, remains a generous supporter of the School, having donated £70 million to date.”
According to an article in The Times, the Saïd Foundation have been using Barclays for over 20 years, and were told in December about the bank’s decision to blacklist the charity, with no possibility of an appeal.
The same ultimatum was passed on to Mr. Saïd and his family. William Heard, a spokesman for the businessman stated that “Mr Saïd was not being singled out but was part of ‘a wholesale cull’ of Barclays clients born in countries the bank now regards as high-risk.”
He added, “Mr Saïd was extremely disappointed that … he is being treated in this irrational and irresponsible manner.”
Oxford University and the Business School have been quick to allay fears regarding the School’s financial security following the blacklisting of the Saïd Foundation.
In an email sent to Oxford University’s Economics & Management students today a spokeswoman for the Saïd Business School stated, “There are no implications for the running of the school,” adding that “much of the article [published in The Times today] is speculative.” The Saïd Business School reinforced their ties with the Saïd Foundation, writing “we look forward to continuing our relationship.”
A spokesman for the University told Cherwell, “The operation of the Saïd Business School is entirely secure. The School is an academic department of the University of Oxford and its funding is derived from numerous sources which include research funding and student fees.
“The Saïd Foundation now provides charitable grants to support a range of initiatives to advance the School’s strategic objectives, including scholarships for students, awards for innovation in teaching, key School events and new approaches to career support for students. We are grateful to the Foundation for its support and we look forward to this continuing.”
The Saïd Foundation have been contacted for comment.