Barclays and four former executives charged over Qatar deal

Charge of conspiracy to commit fraud relates to 2008 capital raising from Gulf state

Barclays bank  said it was “considering its position” in relation to the allegations. Photograph: Tal Cohen/EPA

Barclays bank said it was “considering its position” in relation to the allegations. Photograph: Tal Cohen/EPA

 

Barclays and four former executives were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud regarding the bank’s 2008 capital raising from Qatar, following a five-year investigation into one of the most turbulent periods in financial history.

The Serious Fraud Office said on Tuesday that former chief executive John Varley, former chairman of investment banking for the Middle East Roger Jenkins, ex-deputy head of investment banking Richard Boath and ex-wealth chief Thomas Kalaris face charges along with the bank.

The case stems from £322 million in fees Barclays paid Qatari investors for a loan as part of a wider £12 billion fundraising during the 2008 financial crisis to avoid a state bailout and a $3 billion loan facility made available to Qatar. A London court hearing is scheduled for July 3rd.

The case is one of a number of lingering investigations over the bank’s behaviour dating back nearly a decade. Since the financial crisis, Barclays has faced probes ranging from the rigging of key benchmark rates to more recent scandals related to how executives dealt with whistleblowers. The London-based bank said it is “considering its position” in relation to the allegations.

Barclays said that one of its main subsidiaries may also face additional charges in the case. Varley and Jenkins both face three counts of conspiracy to commit fraud and unlawful financial assistance. Boath and Kalaris each face one fraud count.

A lawyer for the 61-year-old Jenkins said his client would “vigorously defend against these charges.” “As one might expect in the challenging circumstances of 2008, Mr Jenkins sought and received both internal and external legal advice on each and every subject mentioned in the accusations levelled by the SFO today,” said Brad Kaufman, Jenkins’s US-based lawyer at Greenberg Traurig. – (Bloomberg)