Barclays Bank charged by SFO over Qatar loan



Barclays PLC, Varley and Jenkins have also been charged with providing unlawful assistance over allegations linked to an October 2008 fundraising.

Under that deal Barclays loaned £2.3bn back to Qatar Holdings and it is that part of the transaction that the charge of unlawful financial assistance is related to.

Barclays is assuring customers they will not be affected, saying it is ready to defend itself against the charges.

"Barclays does not expect there to be an impact on its ability to serve its customers and clients as a effect of the charge having been brought".

It follows charges against the bank's holding company and four executives in June a year ago related to the same deal.

It will be the first time that a British bank has faced a criminal trial over its conduct during the financial crisis.

In a brief statement, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said that £2.3bn loan was "for the goal of directly or indirectly acquiring shares in Barclays Plc".

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged Barclays' (LON:BARC) operating arm over the lender's Qatar fundraising during the financial crisis when the group turned to Middle Eastern investors to avoid a state-funded bail-out.

Barclays shares shrugged off the news, rising 1 percent to 194.9 pence by 0930 GMT, helped by a broader market rebound from last week's losses, and UBS raising its price target for the stock to 225 pence from 220 pence.

It marked the first criminal charges to be brought in the United Kingdom against a bank and its former executives for activities during the financial crisis. The SFO opened an investigation into the deal in 2012 and has since charged several former executives and Barclays Plc over the fundraising.

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