Barclays and four former senior executives are criminally charged in a high-profile UK investigation into undisclosed payments to Qatari investors during a 12 billion pound ($15.4 billion) emergency fund raising in 2008. Ivor Bennett reports.
It's nearly 10 years since the financial crisis began. But for Barclays, the most serious implications could be yet to come. With the bank facing criminal charges of fraud for undisclosed payments made to Qatari investors in 2008. Four former executives are also implicated, including the bank's former CEO John Varley, following a 5-year investigation by Britain's Serious Fraud Office, It examined how the bank managed to avoid a state bailout, when the likes of Lloyds and RBS did not. There's no allegation of wrongdoing against Qatar, which invested 12 billion pounds in Barclays during emergency fundraising. Instead, investigators are concerned with what went the other way and whether it was properly disclosed. Namely, a 3 billion dollar loan from Barclays. as well as payments including 322 million pounds in advisory services agreements SOUNDBITE (English) JEREMY STRETCH, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, CIBC, SAYING: "I think we shouldn't forget how scary the macroeconomic environment and certainly a funding backdrop proved to be for the financial sector at that time. That's obviously the reason why Barclays took some fairly significant decisions at that time which may or may not result in some fairly hefty legal consequences." Barclays has said it's considering its position and waiting further information on the charges. It's the first bank to be prosecuted for actions taken during the crisis and could be fined if found guilty. The individuals could face up to 10 years in prison. A lawyer for one - ex tax advisory boss Roger Jenkins, said his client would vigorously defend himself against the charges. Adding that Jenkins had received both internal and external legal advice at the time.