SFO applies to reinstate charges against Barclays bank over Qatar loan

Barclays Bank Fleet Street

The Serious Fraud Office has applied to the high court to revive its case against Barclays Bank regarding a £12bn bailout secured from the state of Qatar at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

Charges that Barclays conspired to commit fraud were dismissed at Southwark crown court in May in a blow for the SFO, which had conducted a five-year investigation into the deal.

But the SFO said on Tuesday it had applied to the high court to reinstate the charges.

In a statement to the stock market, Barclays said it “intends to defend the application brought by the SFO”.

The SFO charged Barclays and four former directors with conspiracy to commit fraud in 2017.

It also charged the bank in relation to a $3bn (£2bn) loan provided by Barclays to the State of Qatar in the same year, which the SFO said was “unlawful financial assistance”, alleging it was used, directly or indirectly, to buy shares in the bank.

The charges against the four men – former chief executive John Varley, investment banking chief Roger Jenkins, Barclays Wealth boss Thomas Kalaris and European financial institutions head Richard Boath – remain open.

Barclays secured an £11.8bn investment from Qatar in 2008, as the banking crisis spread around the world, helping it avoid following RBS and HBOS in accepting a bailout from the UK government.

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In its statement to the stock market, Barclays said: “On 21 May 2018 Barclays announced that the crown court had dismissed all of the charges that had been brought by the Serious Fraud Office against Barclays plc and Barclays Bank plc regarding matters which arose in the context of Barclays’ capital raisings in 2008.

“Barclays noted at the time its expectation that the SFO was likely to seek to reinstate those charges by application to a high court judge to recommence proceedings via a new indictment of the same charges.

“On 23 July 2018 the SFO made an application to the high court seeking to reinstate against Barclays plc and Barclays Bank plc all of the charges dismissed by the crown court. Barclays intends to defend the application brought by the SFO.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Rob Davies, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 24th July 2018 11.51 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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