SFO in talks to change its funding arrangements for "blockbuster" cases

Alexandra Rogers
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The SFO prosecuted Barclays executives for fraud and unlawful financial assistance over its 2008 deal with Qatar (Source: Getty)

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is having "ongoing conversations" about the way it is funded after questions have been raised regarding its current arrangements.

The BBC reported that the prosecutor was in talks with the Treasury to increase its annual budget, which currently sits at £31m. The body often asks the Treasury for an extra funding injection when it prosecutes high-profile cases such as Tesco, Rolls-Royce and Barclays , projects that have upped the SFO's credibility.

Outgoing SFO director David Green told the BBC that any final decision was in the Treasury's hands.

Read more: SFO charges four former Barclays bankers including ex-CEO John Varley

In an interview with the BBC, he said: "I have never not pursued a case that we thought worthy of investigation because of a lack of funding, and nor would I ever do that.

"We are in discussion at the moment over whether the relationship between the basic and blockbuster funding is the right one, but that is a matter for the Treasury."

The suggestion that the SFO is angling for further funding comes as it is preparing to install a new director to replace Green next month. It is understood that interviews are currently being held.

The SFO has had a chequered history with the government, who threatened to abolish the SFO last year and instead roll it into the National Crime Agency (NCA). However, the plan was scuppered following Theresa May's snap general election in June, in which the Conservatives lost their working majority.

Read more: SFO to seek retrial of Tesco executives

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