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Barclays and former CEO charged with fraud by SFO

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British prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Barclays and four former bank executives over investments from Qatar that helped save the bank during the financial crisis.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged Barclays over its capital raising during the 2008 financial crisis.

"The charges relate to Barclays Plc's capital raising arrangements with Qatar Holding LLC and Challenger Universal Ltd, which took place in June and October 2008", the SFO said.

The four men are the most senior United Kingdom banking executives charged since the financial crisis, which forced many lenders to seek government bailouts and sparked a global recession.

Varley and Jenkins both face three counts of conspiracy to commit fraud and unlawful financial assistance. The defendants will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on July 3.

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Mr Varley was one of Britain's leading bankers, having been chief executive at Barclays for six years, and the charges against him will stun the City. Barclays said it paid GBP322 million in "advisory services" to Qatari investors, which wasn't initially disclosed after the capital was raised.

In its own statement, Barclays said it is "considering its position in relation to these developments". Richard Boath, a former senior executive at the investment bank, was accused of conspiracy to commit fraud.

The charges come almost five years after the SFO opened its case.

The bank also noted that the Financial Conduct Authority's investigation in relation to the Qatar deals will recommence, having been stayed in view of the SFO's investigation.

The United States Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission have also been carrying out investigations over the payments.

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