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U.K. fraud regulator charges Barclays over Qatar fundraising

epa06038670 A Barclays bank branch logo in London, Britain, 20 June 2017. The British Serious Fraud
A Barclays bank branch in London.
(Andy Rain / European Pressphoto Agency)

British regulators have charged Barclays bank and four former executives, including the chief executive, with conspiracy to commit fraud when they sought investment from Qatar in 2008.

The bank, former CEO John Varley, 61, former investment banking chief Roger Jenkins, 61, Thomas Kalaris, 61, who headed the bank’s wealth management division, and Roger Boath, 58, head of the European financial institutions group, were all charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in relation to a first round of investment in June 2008.

Barclays, Varley and Jenkins were charged with another count in regard to a second capital increase in October 2008. Barclays, Varley and Jenkins were also charged with providing unlawful financial assistance.

The charges by the Serious Fraud Office are the first in Britain against a bank and former executives for activities during the 2008 meltdown. The four will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 3, together with a representative of the bank.

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Barclays turned to Qatar to bolster its finances and avoid a government bailout at the height of the financial crisis. Qatari investors pumped $7.7 billion into Barclays in June and October 2008.

Other banks, such as the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds, survived the crisis — but only with government help.

Barclays responded that it “awaits further details of the charges from the SFO.”

Shares in the bank were down 0.3% in early trading on the London Stock Exchange.

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The charges come as another blow to current Barclays CEO Jes Staley, who is facing a regulatory investigation into his own conduct after he attempted to identify a whistle-blower.


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