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Barclays ex-boss John Varley among four charged with fraud

Barclays and four of its bosses including former chief executive John Varley (pictured) have today been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud

Barclays and four of its bosses including former chief executive John Varley (pictured) have today been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud

Barclays and four of its bosses including former chief executive John Varley (pictured) have today been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud

Barclays and four of its bosses including former chief executive John Varley have today been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud.

The Serious Fraud Office will also prosecute them for the provision of unlawful financial assistance relating to its emergency fundraising during the financial crisis in 2008.

The SFO said it had brought the charges against the bank itself as well as ex-chief executive Mr Varley, 61, Roger Jenkins, also 61, who is the former executive chairman of Investment Banking and Investment Management in the Middle East and North Africa for Barclays Capital.

Two former senior executives, Thomas Kalaris, 61, and Richard Boath, 58 were also charged.

The SFO has also charged Barclays plc, Mr Varley and Mr Jenkins with the provision of unlawful financial assistance. 

Eight former bosses have been investigated by the Serious Fraud Office, which is examining a rescue by Middle Eastern investors who pumped £7bn into the bank in 2008 as it teetered on the brink of collapse.

It meant Barclays avoided a state bailout, as well as Government scrutiny of its bonuses and high-risk practices.

But the lender is alleged to have illegally paid Qatari investors £322m to take part.

The Serious Fraud Office has previously interviewed a string of top Barclays bankers under caution, including former chief executives John Varley and Bob Diamond.

Two former senior executives, Thomas Kalaris, 61, (pictured) and Richard Boath, 58 were also charged today

Two former senior executives, Thomas Kalaris, 61, (pictured) and Richard Boath, 58 were also charged today

Two former senior executives, Thomas Kalaris, 61, and Richard Boath, 58, (pictured) were also charged today

Two former senior executives, Thomas Kalaris, 61, and Richard Boath, 58, (pictured) were also charged today

Two former senior executives, Thomas Kalaris, 61, and Richard Boath, 58 were also charged today

Barclays said it is ‘considering its position in relation to these developments’.

The bank added: ‘Barclays awaits further details of the charges from the SFO.

‘The SFO has informed Barclays that it has not made a decision as to whether it will also bring charges against Barclays Bank Plc in respect of the loan.’

The SFO has also charged Barclays plc, Mr Varley and Roger Jenkins (pictured) with the provision of unlawful financial assistance

The SFO has also charged Barclays plc, Mr Varley and Roger Jenkins (pictured) with the provision of unlawful financial assistance

The SFO has also charged Barclays plc, Mr Varley and Roger Jenkins (pictured) with the provision of unlawful financial assistance

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has also reopened its probe into the Qatari fundraising deal and is understood to be reviewing new evidence which could prompt it to reconsider a £50 million fine against the banking giant four years ago.

The emergency funds raised by Barclays allowed it to avoid a government bailout in 2008 at a time when rivals Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland were forced to rely on a taxpayer rescue.

Mr Varley, who was chief executive between 2004 and 2011, headed the bank at the time of the fundraising, while Mr Jenkins is also said to have played a key role in orchestrating the deal.

Mr Kalaris – an American banker living in London – used to lead the bank’s wealth and investment management division, while Mr Boath was the former European head of financial institutions group at Barclays.

The defendants will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 3.

The way the bank secured the investments in 2008 has since been mired in controversy.

Probe: Eight former Barclays bosses have been investigated by the Serious Fraud Office

Probe: Eight former Barclays bosses have been investigated by the Serious Fraud Office

Probe: Eight former Barclays bosses have been investigated by the Serious Fraud Office

Investigations have focused on two ‘advisory services agreements’ worth £322 million, which Barclays agreed to pay the Qatar Investment Authority.

The FCA slapped a £50 million penalty on the bank in 2013 after finding that Barclays had failed to disclose arrangements and fees it paid to the Qatari investors.

Barclays contested the fine and the challenge was put on hold while the SFO conducted its investigation, but that stay has been lifted.

The United States Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission have also been carrying out investigations over the payments.

Barclays is meanwhile facing legal action from financier Amanda Stavely to recoup £700 million in advisory fees from Barclays she claims her firm, PCP Partners, is owed relating to the 2008 fundraising, which Barclays is defending.

The charges will come as a further headache for current Barclays boss Jes Staley after a series of recent blows, with the chief executive also facing a regulatory investigation into his own conduct after he attempted to identify a whistleblower.

 

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