Four former Barclays (LON:BARC) senior executives have been accused of hiding a £322-million payment to Qatari investors during the financial crisis, Sky News has reported. The blue-chip lender turned to Middle Eastern investors back in 2008 to avoid a state-funded bailout.
Barclays’ share price has been little changed this morning, having inched 0.07 percent higher to 162.98p as of 08:29 GMT. The stock is marginally outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped marginally into negative territory and currently standing 0.15 percent lower at 6,832.77 points.
Barclays ex-bosses charged
Sky News reported yesterday that John Varley, ex-group chief executive at Barclays, and Roger Jenkins, a former executive chairman of investment banking and investment management at Barclays Capital, are charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, in a case brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). The other executives being charged include Thomas Kalaris, former chief executive of Barclays wealth management, and Richard Boath, former Barclays Capital head of European Financial Institutions Group.
Trial starts in London court
The case opened at Southwark Crown Court in London yesterday and relates to Barclays move to find financial alternatives to a UK government bailout during the financial crisis in 2008. Sky News reports that the jury heard that the £322-million sum was paid by the FTSE 100 group in fees after ‘essential’ investments of about £1.9 billion and £2.05 billion were made through the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Qatar Holding to Barclays ‘to shore up their capital base’.
“It is the hiding of these additional commission fees which lies at the heart of this case,” prosecutor Edward Brown QC told the jury, as quoted by the newswire.
The executives have all have pleaded not guilty. The trial is expected to last from four to six months, according to the BBC.