Barclays and former chief executive face criminal charges over financial crisis fundraising

Bank’s dealings with Qatar draw charges from SFO

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The Serious Fraud Office has brought criminal charges against former Barclays chief executive John Varley and three other leading executives over how the bank raised money from Qatar during the financial crisis.

Instead of going to the Government in 2008, as banks fought to secure their balance sheets against the credit crunch, Barclays sought a $3bn loan facility from the Qatari Government, as well as raising capital through two companies, Qatar Holding LLC and Challenger Universal Ltd.

The charges against the four executives are conspiracy to commit fraud.

Varley has also been charged with the provision of unlawful financial assistance contrary to the Companies Act 1985, as has Roger Jenkins, former Barclays Capital executive chairman of investment banking and investment management in the Middle East and North Africa, who was at one point regarded as the highest paid banker in the City.

The other two executives to face charges are former Barclays Wealth and Investment Management chief executive Thomas Llewellyn Kalaris and former European head of Barclays’ financial institutions group Richard Boath.

Barclays Plc has also been charged.

The charges come nearly five years after the SFO opened its case. The defendants will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court at the beginning of next month.