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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Barclays back in UK prosecutors' sights over Qatari payments

UK Serious Fraud Office seeking to resurrect its high-profile prosecution of bank over undisclosed payments to Qatari investors

Four former Barclays executives, including ex-chief John Varley (centre) were originally charged. AP
Four former Barclays executives, including ex-chief John Varley (centre) were originally charged. AP

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is seeking to resurrect its high-profile prosecution of Barclays over undisclosed payments to Qatari investors during the credit crisis with a rare legal procedure after a London court dismissed its case.

The agency had been praised as "fearless" for taking on one of the world's largest banks when it first charged Barclays and four former senior executives - including one-time chief executive John Varley - with criminal offences in June 2017.

But the prosecution fell at the first hurdle after a London court in May threw out its charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and unlawful financial assistance against Barclays - and a charge of unlawful financial assistance against Barclays Bank.

The SFO said it has applied to the High Court for "permission to serve a draft indictment", an avenue for prosecutors to challenge a decision made in the Crown Court.

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Read more:

British court dismisses charges against Barclays over 2008 Qatar deal

Barclays former executives charged over Qatar fundraising

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Barclays had been charged alongside four former top executives over payments to Qatari investors as part of a two-part, £12 billion (Dh57.81bn) emergency fundraising that included a $3bn loan to Qatar at the height of the credit crisis in 2008.

The SFO said it had applied to the High Court to re-instate the charges on Monday.

"The SFO confirms that on 23 July 2018 it made an application to the High Court to re-instate against Barclays and Barclays Bank all of the charges dismissed by the Crown Court in May 2018."

Barclays said it intended to oppose the application. Its shares were trading 1.4 per cent higher at 09.48 GMT, outperforming a 0.9 per cent rise in the FTSE 100.