Former Barclays top brass and bank charged after five-year fraud investigation
London — Barclays Plc and four former executives were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud regarding the bank’s 2008 capital raising from Qatar, following a five-year investigation into one of the most turbulent periods in financial history.
On Tuesday, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office said former CEO John Varley, former chairperson of investment banking for the Middle East Roger Jenkins, former deputy head of investment banking Richard Boath and former wealth chief Thomas Kalaris faced charges, along with the bank.
The case stems from £322m in fees Barclays paid Qatari investors for a loan as part of a wider £12bn fundraising during the 2008 financial crisis to avoid a state bailout and a $3bn loan facility made available to Qatar. A London court hearing was scheduled for July 3.
The case is one of a number of lingering investigations over the bank’s behaviour dating back nearly a decade. Since the financial crisis, Barclays has faced probes ranging from the rigging of key benchmark rates to more recent scandals related to how executives dealt with whistle-blowers.
The London-based bank said it was "considering its position" in relation to the allegations. Barclays said that one of its main subsidiaries may also face additional charges in the case.
Varley and Jenkins both face three counts of conspiracy to commit fraud and unlawful financial assistance. Boath and Kalaris each face one fraud count.
A lawyer for Jenkins said his client would "vigorously defend against these charges".
"As one might expect in the challenging circumstances of 2008, Mr Jenkins sought and received both internal and external legal advice on each and every subject mentioned in the accusations leveled by the SFO (Serious Fraud Office) today," said Brad Kaufman, Jenkins’s US-based lawyer at Greenberg Traurig.