A court has dismissed charges against Barclays (LON:BARC) over the group’s Qatar fundraising during the financial crisis, the blue-chip lender has said. The FTSE 100 bank turned to Middle Eastern investors back in 2008 to avoid a state-funded bail-out, unlike peers Lloyds (LON:LLOY) and RBS (LON:RBS) which were rescued by the British taxpayer.
Barclays’ share price has advanced in London in today’s session, having added 0.84 percent to 209.25p as of 13:14 BST. The shares are marginally outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.58 percent higher at 7,824.20 points. The group’s shares have lost a little over two percent of their value over the past year, as compared with a near five-percent gain in the Footsie.
Charges against Barclays dismissed
Barclays announced in a statement today that the Crown Court had dismissed all charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) against the group regarding matters which arose in the context of the lender’s capital raisings in 2008.
Earlier this year, the SFO charged Barclays Bank “with unlawful financial assistance” over the fundraising, having charged Barclays’ holding company over the move last June. The FTSE 100 group took a near £12-billion loan from Qatar Holding, owned by the Gulf state, back in 2008 to avoid a state-funded bailout and the SFO opened an investigation into the deal in 2012.
SFO could look to reinstate charges
Barclays noted in the statement that the SFO “was likely to seek to reinstate these charges by applying to a High Court Judge to re-commence proceedings via a new indictment of the same charges”. The BBC noted in its coverage of the news that four former Barclays bankers still face charges over the Qatari investment.