Barclays escapes fraud charges over Qatar capital raising
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has dropped charges against Barclays and four of its former workers with conspiracy to commit fraud over capital raising arrangements with Qatar Holding and Challenger Universal.
As reported last year, the charge also included the provision of unlawful financial assistance contrary to the Companies Act 1985.
The charges relate to events in June and October 2008, and a $3 billion loan facility made available to the State of Qatar acting through the Ministry of Economy and Finance in November 2008.
The four ex-workers at Barclays being charged were former chief executive John Varley; former senior investment banker Roger Jenkins; Thomas Kalaris, a former chief executive of its wealth division; and Richard Boath, the ex-European head of financial institutions.
In a statement issued today (21 May), Barclays says the UK Crown Court has “dismissed all charges brought by the SFO against Barclays and Barclays Bank regarding matters which arose in the context of Barclays’ capital raisings in 2008”.
However, in the last sentence, the SFO says it is “likely to seek to re-instate these charges by applying to a High Court Judge to recommence proceedings via a new indictment of the same charges”.
Barclays explains: “As previously disclosed, the [UK’s] Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued warning notices in connection with its investigation into the advisory services agreements and the United States Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission have also been conducting investigations relating to these same agreements.
“The FCA’s investigation in relation to the advisory services agreements has been stayed due to the SFO proceedings. Other authorities have also been kept informed of developments in these matters. In addition, as previously disclosed, a civil claim has been served on Barclays Bank by PCP Capital Partners and PCP International Finance in relation to the November 2008 capital raising, which Barclays Bank is defending.”
By the way, earlier this month, Barclays CEO Jes Staley was hit with a £642,430 fine by the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and FCA for his unusual attempts to uncover a whistleblower.