Barclays and UK fraud office eye deal over criminal probe into Qatar

The investigation into Barclays was announced in 2012 (Source: Getty)
Barclays is widely believed to be in talks with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over a potential deal to resolve a long-running criminal probe into the bank’s dealings with Qatari investors in 2008.

The SFO has proposed the possibility of a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) linked to the bank’s fundraising activities during the financial crisis. In effect, an agreement would amount to a plea bargain where the bank would not face criminal prosecution in exchange for other penalties.

Barclays said in a statement last night: “We are not in a position to comment on an ongoing legal matter, save to clarify that there has been no offer made of a DPA.”

The SFO said it would not comment on specific cases, but referred to a statement it made in May this year saying that it had issued its first invitation letters giving corporates the opportunity to enter into DPA negotiations.

A deferred prosecution agreement grants the signatory amnesty in exchange for agreeing to certain requirements.

The SFO announced an investigation into some commercial arrangements between Barclays Bank and Qatar Holdings in 2012.

Meanwhile, Barclays also announced yesterday that Pier Luigi Colizzi, its head of banking in Italy, had been appointed as head of mergers and acquisitions for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Colizzi joined Barclays in 2012 and has more than 20 years of investment banking experience.

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