Friday 21 June 2019 12:19 pm

Ex-Barclays boss John Varley cleared of Qatar fraud charges

Former Barclays chief executive John Varley has been cleared of fraud charges related to Qatari cash injections that helped the bank avoid a state bailout in 2008.

Judges at the Court of Appeal ruled that the Serious Fraud Office’s case against Varley was insufficient to proceed.

Read more: Ex-Barclays boss says £322m Qatar payment ‘not conditional’ on its involvement in the bank’s fundraising

Prosecutors had alleged that he had plotted to pay secret fees to Qatar to help rescue the bank during the financial crisis.

The case accused Varley and three other Barclays executives of using false advisory service agreements (ASAs) to cover payments made to the Qataris in 2008, in order to effectively pay the investors a higher commissioning fee during a capital raising push that saved the bank from government intervention. 

The judgement said: “Following an application by Mr Varley at the close the prosecution case, the trial Judge ruled that the evidence against him on each count was insufficient for the case to proceed.

“That ruling was appealed by the prosecution. That appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

Read more: Bank of England warned prosecutors against charging Barclays

“Accordingly Mr Varley has been acquitted on both counts. The other defendants will be retried at a date to be determined. Reporting restrictions continue to apply in respect of these rulings until the conclusion of the re-trial or further order.”

The three other former Barclays executives – head of Middle East and north Africa investment Roger Jenkins, wealth management boss Tom Kalaris and European financial institutions group head Richard Boath, will be retried.