SFO levels charges at Barclays Bank

Barclays Bank PLC has been charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over ‘unlawful financial assistance’ said to have been given to Qatar in 2008, according to BBC News.

In June 2017 the same charges were levelled against Barclays PLC. The focus is now also on Barclays Bank, a move which is significant as it could impact on the banking licence for the company’s operations in different countries. A guilty verdict against the bank could see it lose this essential licence.

In 2008, Barclays accepted a £12bn loan from Qatar Holdings in a bid to avoid asking for a government bailout. Qatar Holdings is owned by the state of Qatar. The deal included an arrangement for £2.3bn to be loaned back to Qatar Holdings.

The SFO claims that the loan was used either directly or indirectly to buy shares in Barclays, which the SFO says is ‘unlawful financial assistance.’

Barclays said in response: “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.”