Barclays (LON:BARC) will learn within days the outcome of a five-year Serious Fraud Office (SFO) probe into its Qatari fundraising, Sky News has revealed. The £11-billion share sales during the financial crisis enabled the FTSE 100 lender to avoid a state-funded bailout.
Barclays’ share price has fallen deep into the red in today’s session, having shed 0.96 percent to 201.55p as of 08:43 BST, slightly underperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently 0.70 percent worse off at 7,422.42 points. The group’s shares have added more than a quarter to their value over the past year, but have lost just under 10 percent in the year-to-date.
Sky News reported last night that expectations had grown among several current and former Barclays executives that the SFO was planning to charge both the bank and several individuals in connection with the inquiry, which has focused on arrangements struck with a Qatari sovereign wealth fund in 2008. People close to the situation told the newswire that charging decisions could be announced as early as the next two days, although there was a chance that they could slip into next week.
Sky News also quoted the agency’s director David Green as telling a conference in Paris this week that ‘very significant’ charging decisions would become public shortly. The SFO’s inquiry centred on commercial arrangements struck between the bank and Qatar Holding, which bought shares in Barclays during two fundraisings in June and October 2008.
The lender is also facing a civil lawsuit over the fundraising PCP Capital Partners, a private investment firm, which is suing the bank for hundreds of millions of pounds in fees it claims it should have been paid.