Charges against Barclays over its 2008 Qatari rescue deal have been dismissed

FILE PHOTO: A Barclays bank office is seen at Canary Wharf in London

caption
FILE PHOTO: A Barclays bank office is seen at Canary Wharf in London
source
Thomson Reuters

  • Judge drops charges relating to Barclays’ capital raising deal with Qatar during the financial crisis.
  • Barclays raised £4.6 billion from Qatar in 2008 to stave off a government bailout.
  • The bank believes that the Serious Fraud Office, which brought the charges, will attempt “to re-instate these charges by applying to a High Court Judge to re-commence proceedings via a new indictment of the same charges.”

LONDON – Charges brought against Barclays by British authorities into dealings between the bank and the middle-eastern nation of Qatar during the financial crisis have been dismissed by a judge, it was confirmed on Monday.

“Barclays announces that the Crown Court has today dismissed all charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) against Barclays PLC and Barclays Bank PLC regarding matters which arose in the context of Barclays’ capital raisings in 2008,” the bank said in a statement.

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office investigated the bank in relation to a £4.6 billion fundraising deal during the financial crisis, which allowed Barclays to avoid a government bailout.

In June last year, the SFO charged Barclays and four former executives with “conspiracy to commit fraud” and with receiving “unlawful financial assistance” in relation to the deal, but those charges have now been dismissed by a judge.

In 2013, the Financial Conduct Authority alleged that Barclays paid around £322 million to Qatari investors in return for a £4.6 billion capital injection at the height of the 2008 financial meltdown. The emergency cash call in October 2008 helped the bank avoid a state bailout in the wake of the fall of Lehman Brothers.

Barclays paid a £50 million fine in 2013 for failing to fully disclose the fees it paid to Qatari investors but said it would contest the findings.

In its statement, Barclays said that it believes the SFO is “likely to seek to re-instate these charges by applying to a High Court Judge to re-commence proceedings via a new indictment of the same charges.”

The dropping of the investigation comes just ten days after Barclays’ CEO Jes Staley was fined £642,430 ($870,662) following his attempts to unmask a whistleblower at the bank in 2016. The two investigations were entirely unrelated, and the Qatar deal happened several years before Staley joined Barclays.