Breaking the Bank: Three former senior employees at Barclays to be prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office
October 21, 2019
2 min read
What's going on here?
Roger Jenkings, Richard Boath and Tom Kalaris are currently facing charges of conspiracy and fraud by false representation in London over secret payments of £322 million by Barclays to Qatar during the 2008 financial crisis.
What does this mean?
The case follows an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) which dates back to 2012. The SFO alleges the bankers wanted to prevent Barclays going insolvent during the global recession of 2008, and in order to do so they hid fees paid to Qatar within public documents sent to investors to secure £11.8bn in funding for Barclays’ capital raising.
The cash was used to save Barclays from being “publicly bailed out” and to avoid the bank coming under UK governmental control, which is what happened to Barclays’ competitors, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds, at the time. The SFO alleges the trio did this to protect their senior positions at Barclays during the crisis.
The case is unique because it is the first-time senior officials at a global bank are facing a jury for crimes committed more than 10 years ago. The trio have denied all charges, which carry a 10-year maximum sentence.
What's the big picture effect?
This action by the SFO may be in defiance to its critics, who accused the organisation of failing to pursue top executives and companies. It’s criminal charges against Barclays and its senior bankers, starting from 2017, coincidentally came only 1 month after the Conservative Party pledged to turn the agency into a broader crime-fighting force.
The trio plan on defending themselves against the SFO by arguing that the arrangement’s key documents, namely the advanced subscription agreements (ASAs) with Qatar, were sanctioned by Barclays’ lawyers. This is being rebutted by the SFO, which states the executives also mislead their lawyers about the true intention of the payments for investment.
The trial is expected to last 5 to 6 months and is set to take place at London’s Old Bailey.
Report written by Evania D’souza
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