SFO charges Barclays Bank

Barclays

Barclays

Barclays Bank PLC has been charged by the Serious Fraud Office over a $3 billion loan it made to Qatar as it raised funds in the financial crisis. The charge against Barclays Bank has potentially more serious ramifications, as this is the arm of the company that holds the licence to operate internationally.

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The same charge was made against the bank's holding company last June, but it is the operating unit that is licensed for banking operations, meaning any conviction could also prompt sanctions from regulators.

"The SFO has today charged Barclays Bank PLC with the same offence in respect of the loan as charged against Barclays PLC on 20 June 2017", a statement from the bank said on Monday. They were also charged with conspiracy to commit fraud.

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.


Barclays pulled off a huge fundraising package to avoid the need for a Government rescue but the Qatari part of the deal, through a loan to its Ministry of Economy and Finance, has been mired in controversy.

It marked the first criminal charges to be brought in the United Kingdom against a bank and its former executives for activities during the financial crisis.

In a statement, Barclays said: "Barclays Plc and Barclays Bank Plc intend to defend the respective charges brought against them".

The bank added that it would contest the charges.

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