Four former bankers from Barclays have made their initial appearance in court after being charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and the provision of unlawful financial assistance contrary to the Companies Act 1985.
The charges were brought against the four men and also Barclays Plc itself by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) on 20th June. They relate to activities that took place in June and October 2008 when Barclays Plc apparently entered into capital raising arrangements with Qatar Holding LLC and Challenger Universal Ltd. They also relate to a US$3 billion loan facility made available to the State of Qatar acting through the Ministry of Economy and Finance in November 2008.
In particular, the charges brought by the SFO include:
- Conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in relation to the June 2008 capital raising, contrary to s1 and s2 of the Fraud Act 2006 and s1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. This charge is against Barclays Plc, John Varley (former CEO of Barclays Plc), Roger Jenkins (former Executive Chairman of Investment Banking and Investment Management in the Middle East and North Africa, Barclays Capital), Thomas Kalaris (former Chief Executive of Barclays Wealth and Investment Management) and Richard Boath (former European Head of Financial Institutions Group).
- Barclays Plc, John Varley and Roger Jenkins have also been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in relation to the October 2008 capital raising, contrary to s1 and s2 of the Fraud Act 2006 and s1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977, and with unlawful financial assistance contrary to s151 of the Companies Act 1985.
The bankers were in court on 3rd July for a preliminary hearing and will appear again on 17th July, when it is expected they will all enter not guilty pleas, reports the BBC.
These developments are significant in the banking sector, because they are the first time senior banking executives have been brought to a criminal court to defend actions they took during the time of the banking crisis. It will be interesting to see whether further actions follow.
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