The Serious Fraud Office has charged Barclays PLC and four ex staff members with conspiracy to commit fraud following a five year investigation into the billions of pounds raised from Qatar during the 2008 financial crisis.
John Varley, former Chief Executive of Barclays is one of the four charged. Prior to this, Mr Varley had held the position of Chief Executive of Barclays for six years and had been regarded as one of Britain’s leading bankers. He is the first prominent banker to face criminal charges in relation to the financial crisis and the news will be of shock to many.
Richard Boath the ex-European Head of Financial Institutions, Roger Jenkins a former Investment Banker at Barclays and Thomas Kalaris, former Chief Executive of Barclays’ wealth division have also been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud in the £11.8bn emergency fundraising that took place in June 2008.
Mr Varley along with Mr Jenkins, are facing additional charges of providing unlawful financial assistance. Mr Jenkins lawyer has said stands to “vigorously defend” himself against the charges.
All are due in Westminster Magistrates Court on 3rd July.
The case stands as Barclays had raised billions of pounds from Qatar that allowed the bank to avoid taking a taxpayer bailout. The Serious Fraud Office have confirmed that the charges relate to the two fundraisings the bank had orchestrated in June 2008 and October 2008 and a US $3bn (£2.3bn) loan to Qatar acting through the Ministry of Economy and Finance in November 2008.
Barclays is currently considering their position and awaiting more information.
“This case follows a continued trend of prosecutions after the financial crisis in 2008. Such a high profile prosecution is likely to send waves through financial institutions that individuals within a commercial organisation are not immune from the criminal law. Despite this, any prosecuting authority will be acutely aware that a case of this profile carries with it a high risk of reputational damage with the intense media scrutiny ahead. No doubt this will become a feature of our news pages as the case unfolds for the months and perhaps years ahead.”
If you or your firm are being investigated by a regulatory body or the SFO in relation to fraud offences and you would like advice on how best to protect you and your business, contact us on 0808 168 5550 or email email@example.com and we will arrange an intital consultation to find out how we can assist you.