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20 June 2017 - Ex-Barclays execs charged with conspiracy to commit fraud
Barclays Bank
Source - http://uk.reuters.com/article/barclays-qatar-charges-idUKL8N1JH0SG
Where - United Kingdom
Cost - 3,000,000,000 GBP
Business line - Corporate Services

Four former Barclays executives have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud after a five-year investigation by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The charges relate to a £12bn fundraising exercise in 2008 involving a massive injection of cash from two investors in Qatar: Qatar Holding LLC and Challenger Universal Ltd.

The exercise saved the bank from a government bailout, but according to the SFO’s charges, it constituted “unlawful financial assistance” in breach of the 1985 Companies Act.

The individuals charged are former CEO John Varley, who until yesterday was on the board of mining giant Rio Tinto; former investment banking chief Roger Jenkins, a tax arbitrage specialist who now runs his own consultancy; former wealth management chief Thomas Kalaris, who currently runs his own fund business, Saranac Partners; and Richard Boath, formal global co-head of finance, who is still pursuing a wrongful dismissal case against Barclays. Boath claims he was sacked by the firm for whistleblowing in relation to the Qatar issue.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, which had put its own investigation into the bank (and a £50m fine) on hold, has announced it will now proceed with the case. In a statement released yesterday it said: “We are pleased that this matter, which led to the stay of our own case, is now in the public domain. We welcome a fair and transparent hearing on the basis of the charges set out today by the SFO. We work closely with the SFO across a range of matters, in pursuit of our distinct objectives.”

Jenkins has said he will “vigorously” contest the charges. His lawyer added that at the time the alleged charges took place, Jenkins had sought and received legal advice “on each and every topic covered by the SFO’s accusations.”

Boath said the SFOs charges are based on a “false understanding” and that he “repeatedly raised concerns about the decisions taken by the bank with both the senior management and senior lawyers.”

The defendants will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court at 2pm on 3 July 2017.