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Former Barclays execs cleared of fraud charges

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  • 28/02/2020
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Former Barclays execs cleared of fraud charges
Three former executives of Barclays have been acquitted of conspiracy to commit fraud during the 2008 financial crisis.

 

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) brought charges against Roger Jenkins, former executive chairman of investment banking and investment management in the Middle East and North Africa, Barclays Capital, Richard Boath, former European head of financial institutions group and Thomas Kalaris former chief executive of Barclays Wealth and Investment Management. 

This was the UK’s first trial of bank executives for misconduct during the crash and the jury at the Old Bailey took less than six hours to clear them of the charges. 

 

The allegations 

During the financial crash, Barclays opted to raise capital from Qatar instead of accepting a bailout from the government to avoid becoming part state-owned. 

The bank made capital raising arrangements with Qatar Holding LLC and Challenger Universal Ltd in June and October 2008. It also provided a £2.2bn loan to the State of Qatar in November 2008. 

The SFO alleged that public documents published by the bank did not disclose the fees payable in connection with capital raised. 

Charges were initially brought against Barclays Plc and Barclays Bank Plc following a five-year investigation by the SFO but these were dismissed by the Crown Court in May 2018. The High Court rejected the body’s application to re-instate them in October that year and also refused permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. 

John Varley, former CEO of Barclays, was also charged but the case against him was dismissed in April 2019.  

Chris Lucas, chief finance officer at the time the capital was raised, was named as a co-conspirator but was not tried due to ill health. 

A spokesperson for the SFO said: “Our prosecution decisions are always based on the evidence that is available, and we are determined to bring perpetrators of serious financial crime to justice. Wherever our evidential and public interest tests are met, we will always endeavour to bring this before a court.” 

 

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