Barclays Bank has been charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) with “unlawful financial assistance” in relation to billions of pounds in emergency loans from Qatar in 2008.
The new charges are in addition to those already levied against Barclays Plc. The charge against Barclays Bank has potentially more serious ramifications, as this is the arm of the company that holds the licence to operate internationally. This licence could be withdrawn if Barclays Bank is found guilty.
The case stems from the height of the financial crisis in 2008. in order to avoid a government bailout in the UK, the British-based bank negotiated instead with the state-owned Qatar Holdings for an emergency loan of £12bn. In return Barclays loaned £2.3bn to Qatar Holdings.
In a statement, Barclays said: “Barclays Plc and Barclays Bank Plc intend to defend the respective charges brought against them.
“Barclays does not expect there to be an impact on its ability to serve its customers and clients as a consequence of the charge having been brought.”