Former Barclays executives set for fraud trial over Qatar rescue

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
A branch of Barclays bank in Piccadilly Circus in London. Photo: David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Three former Barclays (BARC.L) executives charged with fraud in relation to an emergency cash injection from Qatari investors during the financial crisis are set to appear in court on Monday.

The case, which is being taken by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), sees Roger Jenkins, Richard Boath, and Tom Kalaris charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and also fraud by false representation — which carry a 10-year maximum sentence.

Jenkins, Kalaris, and Boath deny wrongdoing.

In January 2019, an earlier attempt at prosecution went to trial, when former Barclays CEO John Varley became the first major bank CEO to stand trial for alleged crimes committed during the financial crisis era.

In June, Varley was acquitted when a judge ruled that the evidence against him was insufficient for the case to proceed. A case against the bank itself was dismissed by a court in 2018.

READ MORE: Ex-Barclays CEO acquitted in criminal case over 2008 bailout

The SFO alleges that the three bankers on trial from Monday misled the stock market by not fully disclosing fees paid to Qatar.

It claims that millions of pounds in secret payments were allegedly made to Qatari investors, including the country’s then prime minister, as part of a deal to raise £11bn in emergency funding in two tranches in June and October 2008.

The funding helped the bank sidestep a government bailout, like that received by Lloyds Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland.

The three bankers face charges in relation to the June fundraising, while Jenkins also faces charges in relation to the October cash injection.

Jenkins ran Barclays Capital’s investment management business in the Middle East and North Africa, while Kalaris was CEO of Barclays’ wealth and investment management division. Boath was the former head of the European financial institutions group at Barclays Capital.

The charges, which were issued in 2017, came after the SFO spent several years investigating the claims.