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Court rejects charges against Barclays over Qatar funds

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Britain’s leading lender Barclays says a top court has dismissed allegations of fraud against it over a 2008 emergency fundraising campaign that involved Qatar.

Barclays in a statement said the Crown Court had deemed that allegations by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) that it had used emergency funds provided by Qatar to support its own shares lacked legal legitimacy.

This, as the media in London reported, could be a major setback for the only criminal case pursued by the SFO over the past five years around events from the financial crisis that hit the global financial structure a decade ago.

The charges related to the £11.8bn emergency fundraising conducted by the bank in 2008 as it struggled to maintain its independence and avoid a government takeover, according to a report by the Guardian.

The Qatari investment that helped prop up the bank has been mired in controversy, and after a five-year investigation the SFO last summer brought charges of conspiracy to commit fraud against Barclays and its top executives, the report added.

Barclays was further quoted as saying in its statement that it considered its court battle with the SFO as over, but noted that the Office was “likely to seek to reinstate these charges by applying to a high court judge to recommence proceedings via a new indictment of the same charges.”

Four former executives at the British bank, including its ex-chief executive John Varley, still face criminal charges over the cash injections the bank arranged from Qatari investors to survive the financial crisis, according to a report by the Financial Times.

“The dismissals do not and should not be taken to indicate any finding on the issue of whether a criminal offence has or may have been committed by other persons,” the bank was quoted to have emphasized further in its statement.

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