United Kingdom presses fraud charges against Barclays over Qatar loan

Barclays HQ

Barclays HQ

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The SFO announced in a statement today that it had charged Barclays Bank "with unlawful financial assistance" in relation to a $3-billion loan the lender secured for Qatar Holding between October 1 and November 30, 2008, for the objective of acquiring shares in the blue-chip group.

It extends a charge brought against the parent firm for "unlawful financial assistance" last July.

The announcement follows a decision by the SFO in June past year to charge Barclays PLC, or the unit's parent group, over the same alleged offence. Barclays Bank has now been charged with the same offence.

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The emergency fundraising at the centre of the SFO case allowed Barclays to avoid the fate of its bailed-out rivals Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland.

The FTSE 100 lender announced in a statement that both Barclays Plc and Barclays Bank Plc meant to defend the respective charges brought against them, and that the company did not anticipate an impact on its ability to serve customers as a result of the charges.

Barclays says it "does not expect there to be an impact on its ability to serve its customers".

Barclays former chief executive John Varley and ex- executives Roger Jenkins, Thomas Kalaris, and Richard Boath have all been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud over a June 2008 bid to raise capital. Barclays noted that the SFO at that time had not made a decision as to whether it would also bring charges in relation to the Loan against Barclays Bank PLC.

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