Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Barclays Bank charged over $3bn financial crisis deal

Proshare Serious Fraud Office slaps Barclays with new charges over Qatar capital raising scandal
Orlando Vargas | 12 February, 2018, 17:04

Britain's Serious Fraud Office on Monday charged a unit of Barclays over alleged fraud linked to emergency fundraising from Qatar during the financial crisis a decade ago, the bank said.

When the charges were announced past year, the SFO had still to take a decision on whether to charge Barclays Bank PLC, the main operating unit, but has pushed ahead this month.

The BBC notes that Barclays took a £12-billion loan from Qatar Holding, owned by the Gulf state, in 2008 to avoid a state-funded bailout and under the deal, loaned £2.3 billion back to Qatar Holding.

Barclays is the U.K.'s second-biggest bank by assets: the potential for chaos and disruption for its customers and the wider financial system caused by taking its license is significant, to say the least. Barclays Bank has now been charged with the same offence. They were also charged with conspiracy to commit fraud.

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Further to that announcement, the SFO has today charged Barclays Bank PLC with the same offence in respect of the Loan as charged against Barclays PLC on 20 June 2017 ("the Charge").

Barclays shares were up 0.8 percent to 194.5 pence by 1330 GMT, helped by a broader market rebound and UBS raising its price target for the stock to 225 pence from 220 pence.

The bank added that it would contest the charges.

"However, it is negative that the group hasn't been able to settle a number of outstanding litigation issues, with outstanding litigation representing an unhelpful distraction to the management of the core franchise", the financial services firm said in a note to clients.

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