Two familiar names are in the news this morning, after the UK’s Serious Fraud Office filed criminal charges against Barclays Plc and four former executives, including former CEO John Varley, for conspiracy to commit fraud regarding the bank’s 2008 capital raising from Qatar. The SFO said Tuesday that former Chief Executive Officer 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 SFO allegations focus on how Barclays arranged two capital injections from Qatari investors during the 2008 financial meltdown, when the bank raised 11.8 billion ($15 billion) to prop it up and avoid a state bailout unlike peers RBC and Lloyds. Barclays said it paid 322 million in ‘advisory services’ to Qatari investors, which wasn’t initially disclosed after the capital was raised. The SFO charged the individuals and the bank with conspiracy to commit fraud. Two individuals, including its former Chief Executive John Varley, were also charged with the provision of unlawful financial assistance. Additionally, the SFO’s charges also relate to a $3 billion loan facility Barclays made to the State of Qatar acting through the ministry of economy and finance in November 2008, just after its second capital raise.
The WSJ adds that the case marks the first time that top executives at a U. K. bank face criminal charges for their actions during the financial crisis. If Barclays is found guilty it faces a fine but wouldn’t lose its banking license. Barclays said in a statement it is ‘considering its position in relation to these developments.’
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This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.