Friday 26 October 2018 2:53 pm

SFO loses bid to reinstate charges against Barclays over 2008 Qatar deal


The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) lost its bid today to reinstate charges against Barclays over a Qatar loan it made at the height of the financial crisis.

The High Court today ruled against the SFO's appeal of an earlier court ruling in favour of the bank.

Barclays will now face no regulatory sanctions over the 2008 capital raising.

The bank had denied that a $3bn loan it made a decade ago to Qatar had any connection with a Qatari investment that helped it avoid a government bail out similar to that of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which is still majority-owned by the UK taxpayer.

Firms that are publicly listed in the UK are usually not allowed to lend money for a third-party to purchase their shares, and the SFO had claimed that Barclays had made such an arrangement, committing fraud over two "advisory services agreements" between it and the state of Qatar.


The SFO had applied to the High Court to reinstate all charges in late July after its charges were dismissed in crown court.

"The SFO believes it was right to bring this to the attention of the High Court," a spokesperson said today.

Meanwhile, a trial of four Barclays bankers relating to the capital raising is still set to go ahead on 9 January 2019.

The four face a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation when they allegedly reached a deal for Qatar's capital injection into the bank in June 2008.

Former chief executive John Varley will stand trial alongside then-senior executives Roger Jenkins, Thomas Kalaris and Richard Boath.

Varley and Jenkins were given a second charge of conspiracy to commit fraud connected to another capital raising in October 2008.

They have all pleaded not guilty.

The bank still faces probes from the US Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission.

A Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) probe into the advisory services agreements had been on hold as a result of the SFO proceedings. The FCA declined to comment today.

"The FCA's investigation in relation to the advisory services agreements has been stayed due to the SFO proceedings," Barclays said in a regulatory update. "Other authorities have also been kept informed of developments in these matters."

Barclays is also defending a separate civil claim from PCP Capital Partners LLP and PCP International Finance Limited.