London- Four former top Barclays executives appeared in court in London on Monday to face charges that they conspired to commit fraud during the bank’s 12 billion pound ($15.56 billion) emergency fundraising in 2008.
Former Chief Executive Officer John Varley, former chairman of investment banking for the Middle East Roger Jenkins, ex-wealth chief Thomas Kalaris and Richard Boath, former European head of the bank’s financial institutions group were charged by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office in June in the first criminal prosecution for senior bankers’ actions during the financial crisis.
In a 60-minute hearing at Westminster magistrates court, the case was sent to Southwark Crown Court, with the next hearing scheduled for July 17.
The case centers on agreements between Barclays and Qatari investors during two fundraisers in June and October 2008.
The men are the most senior UK banking executives to face criminal action since the financial crisis, which sent banks scrambling to raise funds to cover billions in losses. The Serious Fraud Office case relates to 322 million pounds ($418 million) in fees Barclays paid the Qatar Investment Authority and a $3 billion loan facility it made available to the nation as part of side deals to the 12 billion-pound fundraising from the Qataris and others.
Qatar Holding, part of the Qatar Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund, and Challenger, an investment vehicle of former Qatari Prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, invested around 5.3 billion pounds in Barclays.
The defendants were all charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in relation to the first round of fundraising.
Barclays, Varley and Jenkins were charged with another count in regard to the second round of financing, as well as a separate charge of providing unlawful financial assistance.
In bailing all four, senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot ordered Jenkins and Kalaris to pay a security each of 500,000 pounds because Jenkins lives in the United States and Kalaris is a dual national.
Boath and Varley were released on unconditional bail.