Top Barclays bankers face fraud trial over Qatar payments

Pedro Gonçalves
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Top Barclays bankers face fraud trial over Qatar payments

Three former Barclays executives charged with fraud in relation to an emergency cash injection from Qatari investors during the financial crisis have appeared in a court in London for the start of their second jury trial .

The Old Bailey trial, set to last into next year, involves Roger Jenkins, 64, former executive chairman of Barclays Capital, which used to be the investment banking unit; Thomas Kalaris, 63, who was head of wealth management; and Richard Boath, 60, the former head of European financial institutions.

The case, which is being taken by the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), sees the three former Barclays executives charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and also fraud by false representation — which carry a 10-year maximum sentence.

The case centres on claims of secret payments to Qatar as part of a deal to raise more than £11bn from investors in two tranches in June and October 2008.

It is claimed that these multi-million pound payments to investors, including to the then prime minister of the Gulf state, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, were not property disclosed to the markets.

It hinges on what the bank told the market in public documents, such as the prospectuses and subscription agreements that outlined the fees and commissions that Barclays paid to investors, including former Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani.

The SFO alleges Barclays secretly paid fees to Qatar to secure funding for its capital raising, which helped the bank avoid state support.

Roger Jenkins, Tom Kalaris, and Richard Boath all deny wrongdoing. Former Barclays chief executive John Varley, their co-defendant in a previous trial, was acquitted in June.

The SFO's criminal proceedings against the bank itself were also dismissed by a court last year. 

Jury selection for the trial, which is slated to run into next year, could take about a week, after which the defendants will officially enter their pleas as the trial starts.

 

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