Barclays and former CEO John Varley face criminal charges over Qatar capital raise

John VarleyJohn Varley in New York in 2010.REUTERS/Keith Bedford

LONDON — The Serious Fraud Office charged Barclays and four former executives with “conspiracy to commit fraud” and with receiving “unlawful financial assistance” after a probe into a 2008 capital raising funded by Qatari investors.

Former chief executive John Varley was among the four individuals charged.

The other three people charged are:

  • Roger Jenkins, the former Middle East investment banking head.
  • Former wealth management head Thomas Kalaris.
  • Richard Boath, an ex-chief of the bank’s financial institutions group in Europe.

All four executives will appear at Westminster Magistrates court on July 3.

The SFO had been investigating “certain commercial arrangements between Barclays Bank and Qatar Holdings” since 2012.

“The charges relate to Barclays Plc’s capital raising arrangements with Qatar Holding LLC and Challenger Universal Ltd, which took place in June and October 2008,” the SFO said. “And a US$3 billion loan facility made available to the State of Qatar acting through the Ministry of Economy and Finance in November 2008.”

Barclays said: “Barclays is considering its position in relation to these developments. The Charges arise in the context of Barclays’ capital raisings in June and November 2008. Barclays awaits further details of the Charges from the SFO. The SFO has informed Barclays that it has not made a decision as to whether it will also bring charges against Barclays Bank PLC in respect of the Loan.”

In 2013, the Financial Conduct Authority alleged that Barclays paid around £322 million to Qatari investors in return for a £4.6 billion capital injection at the height of the 2008 financial meltdown.

The emergency cash call in October 2008 helped the bank avoid a state bailout in the wake of the fall of Lehman Brothers.

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