Barclays faces further blow to reputation amid warning bank could face criminal charges over 2008 bailout

 

Barclays is facing yet another blow to its already tarnished reputation after it emerged that the bank could face criminal charges over a 2008 bailout.

The bank – already facing opprobrium over the Libor rate-rigging scandal, the tax advice its gives clients, the PPI mis-selling scandal, executive pay and staff bonuses – is now being investigated about a £6 billion lifeline it received from foreign investors.

The money from the Arab state of Qatar enabled Barclays to avoid taking money from the UK government and retain its independence as a public company.

The ins and outs of that deal with the Qataris have been the subject of intense speculation in financial circles ever since.

Now it is alleged that Barclays lent money to Qatar so that it could invest it in Barclays.

This is a serious offence under the 2006 Companies Act and could result in criminal charges if the allegations turn out to be true.

While this specific matter does not come under the auspices of the Financial Services Authority, Barclays has already admitted last July that four of its current or former managers were being investigated by the FSA over payments linked to Qatar’s investment.

The FSA declined to comment on the latest developments. Barclays said: “Both the FSA and SFO investigations are ongoing and, as such, we are unable to comment further”.

City sources confirm that an investigation is ongoing but point out that this does not automatically indicate guilt.

The Serious Fraud Office and Qatar Holding declined to comment.

The deal with Qatar attracted controversy almost immediately. Existing shareholders complained that the Qatari’s were offered more attractive terms than were they.

The role of various fixers and corporate movers has been the subject of considerable speculation.

Barclays said last summer that fraud prosecutors had launched a criminal probe into payments between the bank and Qatar.

However, while it was known that Barclays was under scrutiny, the alleged loan to the Qataris represents a new element of the investigation. How much was allegedly loaned is unclear.

Barclays received cash injections in 2008 worth a total of £6.1 billion from Qatar Holding, which is a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority, and Challenger, an investment vehicle of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, the prime minister of Qatar and his family.

Qatar is not being accused of wrongdoing, it is understood.

Chris Lucas, Barclays’ chief financial officer, is known to be one of executives being investigated in connection with the capital raising.

Barclays was fined £290m last June by British and US regulators for attempted manipulation of Libor and Euribor interbank rates between 2005 and 2009.

The scandal sparked the resignations of three Barclays senior board members, including ex-chief executive Bob Diamond.

Barclays has also set aside £2bn to compensate customers for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance.

Last month, new chief executive Antony Jenkins ordered all Barclays staff to sign up to a new ethical code of conduct or quit.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before