Barclays Bank charged over Qatar loans

Barclays Bank charged over Qatar loans

Barclays Bank charged over Qatar loans

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged Barclays Bank over a 3 billion USA dollar (£2.2 billion) loan given to the State of Qatar as part of a side deal linked to its emergency fundraising in 2008.

The same charges were bought against Barclays PLC in June a year ago.

The regulators are already separately weighing up how to respond to attempts by Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley to unmask a whistleblower's identity.

Both Barclays and its bank unit have said they will defend themselves against the charges.

"Barclays does not expect there to be an impact on its ability to serve its customers and clients as a effect of the charge having been brought", the bank said in a statement.

The BBC notes that Barclays took a £12-billion loan from Qatar Holding, owned by the Gulf state, in 2008 to avoid a state-funded bailout and under the deal, loaned £2.3 billion back to Qatar Holding.

The SFO investigation arose amid concerns that Barclays may have been in effect lending itself money, known as "financial assistance", which is illegal.

"This follows charges brought against the holding company, Barclays Plc, and four individuals in June 2017".

Barclays PLC, Varley and Jenkins have also been charged with providing unlawful assistance over allegations linked to an October 2008 fundraising.

'Further to that announcement, the SFO has today charged Barclays Bank with the same offence'. The SFO opened an investigation into the deal in 2012 and has since charged several former executives and Barclays Plc over the fundraising.