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Court throws out Barclays’ Qatar fraud charges

Neil Hodge | May 23, 2018

Given the rough ride that Barclays Bank has had in the past month over CEO Jes Staley’s fines and public smackdown for trying to out a whistleblower, the bank may have relished some good news this week when a U.K. court threw out criminal charges relating to its decade-old fundraising deals in Qatar.

On 21 May a U.K. Crown Court dismissed charges of unlawful financial assistance and fraud against Barclays Bank and its parent company, Barclays PLC, over the nature of the bank’s deals with a group of Qatari investors to bail it out of trouble and keep it out of U.K. government control at the height of the financial crisis.

During two emergency fundraisings in 2008, Barclays raised a total of £11.8bn with a group of Qatari investors—in return for a U.S. $3 billion loan, which the U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) considers illegal.

The charges against Barclays were the first criminal charges to be brought in the United Kingdom against a bank for activities during...

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